Legal to Force a Log-In to Unsubscribe from Email Lists?

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Spam emails are emails sent to you without your knowledge or consent, which often contain marketing. The same spam email can be sent to millions of people at the same time and the addresses can often be guessed.

Unsubscribe from email lists law all marketing emails sent without consent are spam emails. Marketing emails can be sent without prior consent by organisations who obtained your email address when you bought something from them and are advertising similar products or services. However, these marketing emails must abide by strict rules regarding their content and provide you with the opportunity to opt out. This legislation says that organisations must only send marketing emails to individuals if you have agreed to receive them, except where there is a clearly defined customer unsubscribe from email lists law.

As a lot of spam emails come from outside the UK, the Information Commissioner has an agreement with a number of overseas bodies to cooperate and exchange information to try and stop spam emails that are sent from those places. The organisation should then stop sending you marketing emails. Legitimate, well-known companies will unsubscribe from email lists law opt-outs, and in many cases things can be resolved quickly without us getting involved. Alternatively you could email the organisation to tell the sender about the problem and ask them to stop sending you marketing emails remembering to keep a copy of any correspondence.

You should allow them time to put things right. However if you continue to receive marketing emails from the organisation despite asking them to stop you may wish to report your concerns to the ICO. You can report receipt of these emails to the ICO:. If the work email address belongs to a sole trader or unincorporated partnership, your unsubscribe from email lists law email address is treated the same as your home email address, and you can follow the advice above.

The rules on email marketing are different if the marketing is being sent to a corporate email address. If you work for a corporate body that is a company, Scottish partnership, limited liability partnership or government bodyorganisations are allowed to send marketing emails to your work email address without your consent. If you are receiving unwanted marketing unsubscribe from email lists law to your work email address you may wish to use the unsubscribe option if the email you have received is from an identifiable and legitimate UK based organisation that you know and trust.

If you have a personal corporate email address which identifies you, for example firstname. This means that you can write to the organisation asking them to stop any marketing to your work email address.

When they receive your request they must stop sending you marketing emails as soon as they can. A suggested unsubscribe from email lists law to send can be found here. What are spam emails? What does the law say? You can report receipt of these emails to the ICO: What can I do to reduce the amount of spam emails Unsubscribe from email lists law receive?

Be careful who you give your email address to. Consider having separate personal and business email addresses. Choose an email address which is difficult to guess. Check privacy policies and marketing opt-outs carefully. Consider how the company uses your information and whether they unsubscribe from email lists law send it to other people within their organisation or to other organisations. Avoid responding to spam emails if you have any doubts about who has sent them.

Replying indicates that your email address is live. You should not reply to emails unless you know and trust the sender, and are confident the email is genuine. However, unsubscribe from email lists law complaints received by the ICO are about well known, legitimate companies who offer opt-outs.

In most cases responding to the opt-outs in these emails should stop the problem. Use a spam email filter on your computer. These are programs which work with your email package to sift through new emails, separating spam emails from wanted emails and blocking them.

Most packages are successful although sometimes block good email too. New spam email filters are being developed all the time; you can search the internet for one that is suitable for you.

Many Internet Service Providers ISPs also offer filters which work by examining content and using blacklists to restrict spam emails. Again, these sometimes block good emails as well as spam emails and you might have to pay for them. For more information on the services that are available to you, please check with your ISP. Keep your systems well maintained. Hackers and spammers can exploit software problems, so most software companies issue product updates and patches that fix known problems.

You should also consider using anti-virus software to protect against virus programs that can destroy computer files and are increasingly being exploited unsubscribe from email lists law spammers.


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Since we make email software, we want to help you adhere to the laws in your jurisdiction at a minimum. Beyond legal compliance, I want you sending emails that recipients want to receive.

You mentioned you were considering doing outbound sales. Dig in to the email headers if you want to learn more about how other companies are sending their emails. One thing conspicuously missing from the headers is an indication it was sent from a bulk system. I often see Salesforce somewhere in the header for a cold email: Or it could have been composed in MS Word, and copied and pasted in to another email system.

Looking at the headers, this also appears to be coming from the Bangalore mail servers of Akamai. That contradicts the Boston area code in the body of the email. If you have any doubt about whether an email was personally written to you, look at the headers! If people are using Google Apps, they may reach their sending limits quickly and have to find another way to send their outbound email.

And there are some strict guidelines for how to send unsolicited commercial email. This particular message fails on two accounts. Also keep in mind that laws vary from country to country. In the UK, you may not cold-email individuals, but you may cold-email businesses. Unsolicited commercial email is a really grey area. When we started the company, I would reach out cold to people to ask for advice and get feedback. At what point does unsolicited email turn in to unsolicited commercial email? You still must have your mailing address and a way to unsubscribe.

Some companies want to buy or rent a list and use an email marketing company to send emails to those people. While this may be technically legal, it often damages the reputations of email marketing companies so this behavior is usually not allowed in their terms and conditions. Companies that send email including us require people to have opted-in to be emailed. The gold standard is a double-opt-in process.

Someone gives you an email address, you send a one-time email asking them to click a link and confirm their email address. For newsletter tools this works great. In the US, an automatically checked box opting in to marketing emails is a common occurrence. However, the best path is to give them a reason to opt-in and make that action explicit. If you sign up for Customer. People need to explicitly opt in. In the UK, retailer John Lewis was recently fined for automatically opting people in to their marketing.

Even when someone has opted in or purchased in the past, you must have a way to unsubscribe when sending commercial email. Many email marketing platforms require and enforce an unsubscribe link for all messages.

Rather than globally opting people out, consider people simple preferences for which emails they get. But we need to be really specific here about what a transactional email is:. The primary purpose of an email is transactional or relationship if it consists only of content that:.

A compliance guide for business. This exact case happened to almost every business on the internet when the Heartbleed vulnerability came out. Should companies send a security email to people even if they have previously unsubscribed from correspondence? I would say yes…? So Bryan, do you have a better idea of when you can send an email without an unsubscribe? Or did I just confuse you and everyone else even more!

Blog Product Updates Company. This is going to be fun. Cold emails Opt-in marketing emails permission marketing Transactional emails 1. Do cold emails need an unsubscribe link? What do you notice about this email? You might be surprised to know that: There should be a physical mailing address. There should be a clear way to opt out the easiest is an unsubscribe link.

So, just to clarify: Do your newsletters need an unsubscribe link? What constitutes an opt-in? What about if I automatically check a box to opt people in? Do transactional emails need an unsubscribe link? But we need to be really specific here about what a transactional email is: The primary purpose of an email is transactional or relationship if it consists only of content that: Huge receipt, small offer?

No unsubscribe link needed. You bought something, now buy other things! You need an unsubscribe link. Someone signed up for your product last year. A few months ago they changed their email preferences to: Today you have a security issue and they need to change their password - like right now. Do you email people about security issues if they have unsubscribed?

Are you not respecting their wishes of an opt-out? At the time, I asked people on twitter what they thought: Reset the newsletter form.