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Report reveals ignorance and apathy toward new email legislation

Marketing professionals still do not understand the new email marketing legislation that comes into effect this Autumn* and are likely to ignore it in practice, according to a new survey by CRM Technologies. New rules require all email recipients to ‘opt-in’ to receive email marketing, unless they are existing customers. Yet, around 1 in 8 marketing professionals say they have never heard of this new legislation relating to email communications, and another third 37% say they are not sure about the detail of it, according to the survey.

Titled “Achieving ROI on Marketing Spend,” the report surveyed over 100 heads of marketing in +£50m turnover businesses and shows that this ignorance does not seem likely to deter some sectors. None of those surveyed in the business services sector say they will reduce the amount that they use email as a marketing technique, compared to the business financial services (40%) and distribution sectors (55%). Ignorance about the detail of this new email legislation is especially high in the business services sector (55%) where 90% have used this technique in the last 12 months, compared to the distribution sector (10%) where only 65% have used it over the same period.

“Email can deliver fantastic response rates to marketers, particularly for house lists where contacts have opted-in to receive future communications such as e-newsletters,” commented Andrew Freeman, managing director at CRM Technologies. “Behind the response rates though, there’s a lot of hard graft taking place to build and maintain effective and legal databases. ”56% of the sample surveyed says email marketing has been on the increase in the last two years and 81% have used this technique in the last 12 months. This reflects our customers’ experiences quite accurately. Email marketing is growing in importance - not only to meet consumer demand, but because it’s relatively inexpensive to deploy and incredibly easy to track and report against,” he added.

Of the 44% who do think there will be an impact on them following the new legislation, the two most common impacts are thought to be a reduction in the amount that the marketing technique will be used, along with the fact that databases will reduce in size, both 26%.

Copies of CRM Technologies’ independent market research report can be obtained from its web site at

*A new Electronic Commerce Directive 2002/58/EC that all EU member states must implement by 31st October 2003. It replaces much national law across EU including the 1999 UK regulations and the Telecoms Data Protections Directive (97/66/EC).

The legislations requires that direct marketing to individuals by electronic methods (including email, SMS, Fax etc) must be on an opt-in basis, unless a prior commercial arrangement is already in place where an opt-out model can be utilised.

About (CRM Technologies)
CRM Technologies provides fully-managed and outsourced marketing campaign lifecycle and lead management services to a range of organisations including Sun Microsystems, Borland, Network Associates and others. The company’s technology and consulting solutions help to drive a business’ lead management process, optimise marketing spend and deliver campaign validation and identifiable return on investment for the marketing department.

The company’s headquarters are based at Network House, Basing View, Basingstoke, RG21 4HG. Report authors: Dynamic Markets, PO Box 19, Abergavenny, NP7 8YF.

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