Guide

Develop a digital marketing plan

Legal considerations in digital marketing

There are a number of laws that relate specifically to digital marketing. You need to keep abreast of changes in this area to ensure that you are complying with the various rules.

Email and SMS marketing rules

There are rules covering marketing emails and SMS messages to individuals.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations introduced an opt-in consent procedure for commercial emails - which means you can only target people who have agreed to be contacted.

The rules only apply to new customers. You can continue marketing to existing customers provided they can opt-out of future messages and the marketing messages cover similar products and services.

You must also clearly mark your emails with your contact details and include a valid return email address.

Your website and social media

All websites should carry your company's registered address and company (or charity) registration number. Consider including usage terms and conditions and a disclaimer for your website:

You should be aware of legal implications and best practice when using social media

Using cookies

Cookies are text files that are stored on a user's computer when they visit a website that uses them. Thereafter, the cookie sends information back to the website and can be used to monitor browsing preferences of users, eg types of goods searched for, pages visited and length of dwell time on each page.

Businesses must tell visitors to their website that they use cookies and obtain their consent. You must also tell your site users how you use cookies.  See using cookies and the law.