How to Direct Market Without Consent

direct marketing without consent

How to Direct Market without Consent

As a marketer, the dream is to be able to build and launch campaigns to grow your audience and sell your product or service. Pretty straightforward – right? Well, as all marketers know this is unfortunately never the case and there is a constantly changing myriad of data privacy laws waiting in the long grass to trip you up and expose your business.

But these Data privacy laws weren’t designed to do this, at least we don’t think so. If applied correctly, marketers can happily exist within these laws and all the while build healthy DATA relationSHIPS with their users.

A good example of this and one that many marketers aren’t aware of, is that businesses are often able to market to existing audiences without their explicit consent.

Here’s how:

If your organization has obtained users’ emails ‘from a customer … in the context of the sale of a product or service’ a separate explicit consent to direct marketing may not be required as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. the direct marketing is in respect of that person’s similar products and services only; and
  2. the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing the use of her contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details were initially collected, and, where he did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent communication.

So, in simple terms, if you’re contacting someone who has bought from you before (or has engaging in purchasing your product/service), you’re talking about a similar product/service and you’re giving them the opportunity to unsubscribe you should be fine.

An obvious question arises here: What if there was an opt in box for marketing that the user didn’t click?

If at the time the user signed up but did not tick the ‘opt in’, the customer was given further information about potential marketing communications and the means of refusing it, e.g., with a link to a privacy policy that adequately dealt with marketing communications and fully informed the customer about how to opt out of receiving marketing communications, including unsubscribe links and text, etc, you should be within your rights so long as the above conditions are met.

Obviously, there’s always nuances involved and the laws differ depending on jurisdiction. If you want to discuss the issue in more depth, we’re always on hand to help so don’t hesitate to contact us on either or

Hopefully that helps and as usual common sense prevails!