Webpower sends millions of emails every day. We do not allow the users of our software to send spam messages. What is spam, exactly? Our industry uses a clear and concise definition: spam is “the sending of large quantities of unwanted email.” For the recipients of these messages, the definition is even shorter: to them, spam is “any email message I did not ask for.”
Fortunately, there is legislation pertaining to the field of email marketing. Users of Webpower’s services often operate at an international scale, however, which means they have to deal with several different sets of laws and legislation. Not to worry, though, as Dutch legislation is one of the strictest in the world in this regard.
To make matters even clearer, Webpower has drawn up its own anti-spam policy. Users of our software or services must conform to these rules. First of all, Webpower defines spam as follows:
Spam is any email sent to people or organisations who did not give you explicit permission to contact them about the email’s subject matter.
Webpower’s anti-spam policy covers the following topics:
- Prior consent
- True identity of the sender
- Opt-out opportunity
- Webpower prohibits the use of third-party mailing lists
- Code of conduct
- Violation of Webpower’s anti-spam policy
For any email sent via the Webpower platform, regardless of whether the recipient is a consumer or an organisation, the sender must have demonstrable prior consent from the recipient to contact them about the email’s subject matter.
An acquired opt-in is not valid indefinitely. Webpower recommends that users no longer approach any email addresses with which there has been no further contact for more than 18 months. There is a risk that the original user has abandoned the email address and that it is currently being used as a spam trap.
The recipient consents to receiving emails and was clearly informed about what they were consenting to. A line hidden in one’s general terms and conditions is not allowed. Unclear descriptions such as “you consent to receiving email messages from this organisation and (selected) partners” are not specific enough. It must be clear to the recipient what they are consenting to.
Note that recipients must actively give their consent. That means that pre-checked boxes are not allowed. There is one exception to this rule:
You may send existing clients emails about comparable products or services. The client must be given the opportunity to object to these messages when providing their contact information.
Consent must be demonstrable. When we receive complaints about spam, Webpower may ask the sender to prove that they received the client’s consent. We may and will ask about information pertaining to:
- When and how the email address was collected?
- Date and time?
- Via a third party (partner registration/lottery/questionnaire)?
- Newsletter signup?
- Existing client relation?
- If the case involves online data collection:
- URL of the website at which the data was collected.
- IP address of the email address’s owner
- Opt-in type (single or double opt-in)
- For a double opt-in: date and time of confirmation
- Is there an explicit declaration of consent/opt-in for the email address in question?
- Text of the declaration (and, if applicable, a list of co-registration partners)
- Did the recipient have the option to explicitly give their consent?
- If there was no explicit declaration of consent/opt-in, yet there was an existing client relation:
- Nature of this client relation (e.g. purchase of product X)
- How was the client informed – at the time of them providing their email address – that their email address might be used for marketing purposes and that they had the option to (immediately) object to this use?
Source: Rules of Procedure for Complaints against Mailers Participating in the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA)
True identity of the sender
It must be clear who the sender of an email is. The sender must list their true identity and a valid contact address or number in every email message they send.
Every email message must include an opt-out opportunity. Opting out of further messages must be free of charge and easy to do. That means a recipient cannot be made to first answer a questionnaire or log in somewhere before they can successfully opt out.
Webpower prohibits the use of third-party mailing lists
Sending emails to addresses acquired (bought, traded, hired, borrowed, found or via any other method) through a third party is prohibited – and rightly so, as the sender did not acquire the recipient’s consent to send messages.
Code of conduct
As a user of the Webpower platform, you will refrain from storing and/or distributing material that does not comply with Dutch law. This includes material which:
- Is defamatory, libellous, offensive, racist, discriminating or hateful;
- Is erotic or pornographic in nature, unless specifically agreed upon between the client and Webpower;
- Violates the rights of third parties, including but not limited to copyright, trademark right and portrait right;
- Results in a violation of the privacy of third parties, including but not limited to the distribution of the personal information of third parties without consent or need or repeatedly bothering third parties with unwanted communication;
- Contains hyperlinks, torrents or similar information which the sender knows or should know refers to material that violates the rights of third parties;
- Contains malignant content, e.g. viruses or spyware.
Violation of Webpower’s anti-spam policy
All complaints received by Webpower are forwarded to the client, so they can provide feedback and come up with a solution for the problem. If we do not receive feedback and a suitable solution to the sending of unwanted email messages within a 24-hour period, we may suspend the account in question until Webpower is convinced that the problem has been resolved in its entirety and that measures have been taken to prevent the sending of unwanted emails in the future. The client is responsible for all unwanted emails sent via their Webpower account.
Clients who use their Webpower account to send unwanted email messages will have their account suspended immediately. They will then be given two hours to stop the sending of unwanted emails.