Compliance is Paramount in 2017


Compliance
January 9, 2017 BY Joshua Doherty - Get free updates of new posts HERE

Now the New Year is firmly upon us we must accept certain inevitabilities. Your jeans are that little bit harder to put on due to gorging on mountains of festive food. The cold weather no longer brings us closer to time off, parties and merriment, instead we’re hit with further cold nights/mornings, icy cars and that snow that no one cares about after Christmas. There is also a huge change to the world of affiliate marketing; specifically email marketing. It is a great time for consumers, email marketers and advertisers as compliance becomes the word of the year.

As we move further and further into 2017 advertisers will start to clamp down on how their brand/product are to consumers. Specifically they want to ensure that every affiliate and network is completely compliant with how they contact potential customers.

There are a view simple steps that need to taken to becoming fully compliant:

  • Become ICO registered – the ICO is the most important governing body in email marketing. Their investigations and fines have helped the affiliate marketing world move forward more than anything or anyone else. It costs £35 to register for most organisations unless the company has a turnover of £25.9M. Simply click here to visit the registration page.
  • Obtain Consent – The user must give the sender consent to send them relatable offers. If you aren’t clear on what counts as consent then please click here . When subscribing to email alerts or creating an account on a website, whatever it may be, they are obliged to include documents such as the privacy policy and terms and conditions. Then the user can clearly see what they are signing up for. This protects all parties involved from the forgetful consumer who claims they have wrongly been emailed.
  • Regularly refresh data – This isn’t just a compliance issue but a form of common sense. The attitude of the consumer changes regularly so the data should be cleansed every few months, 6 is the recommended timeframe, to ensure that any emails are being received by a fresh audience who are still interested in the brand/product.
  • Give clear privacy policy – The privacy policy must be clear and clarify what kind of offers will be sent out to users when they sign up to an email list. They must have specifically consented to electronic mail from you regarding specific sectors. Simply stating that they will receive third party marketing messages isn’t enough! Below is a perfect example of how it should be laid out.

 

A perfect example of how you're privacy policy should be laid out.

 

After speaking to a number of my contacts I was bombarded with questions but I found that these were of the highest priority:

Why is this happening?

The simple way of looking at it is that they want to ensure that the people who are receiving their ads are actually interested in that sector and have given express permission for the sender to contact them. Companies are becoming ever more stringent on how their marketing budget is spent so by certifying that all affiliates are mailing their ads to the right people is a simple/efficient way of optimising traffic sources. This isn’t a new phenomenon at all and the majority of affiliates are fully compliant. However due to the ICO clamping down on any infringements this is an issue that must be addressed.

As an affiliate will this impact my traffic?

In short, this process will enhance your traffic. By removing any invalid data and by focusing all of your efforts on consumers who are actually interested can do nothing but assist you in lead generation. Furthermore it will allow you to run even more high profile offers, as your traffic will be of such a high standard that all advertisers will want to use your traffic. This could also results in your payouts being increase as you could prove that your data is worth more then originally thought.

If I’m not ICO registered will I have to stop running certain offers?

Quite simply, yes. Being ICO registered gives you the permission to manage people’s data. If you are unwilling to go through the registration process then you will quickly find that high quality, legitimate campaigns are very hard to come by. Registering with the ICO and providing all of the details that have been mentioned in this post assures advertisers that you are compliant in every way and gives you access to the very best campaigns around.

What is the best way of managing my suppression list?

Another major point of being compliant is ensuring that your blacklist is up to date and that you aren’t spamming consumers who have opted out. By working with Monetise you are given access to an incredibly helpful tool, Unsubly. This tool allows affiliates to cleanse their list of email addresses that have unsubscribed for that particular offer. All an affiliate has to do is to suppress their database using the tool before a send and this will greatly reduce the risk of receiving a complaint regarding spam. It is completely safe as all data is encrypted and your database isn’t saved.

As a network we take compliance and data protection incredibly seriously so it is refreshing to see that the affiliate sector as a whole is starting to mirror our feelings.

If you would like to read the guidance that the ICO themselves have given on direct marketing please click here .

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Written by Joshua Doherty