compuBase

A guide to current opt-in requirements for emailing in Europe


A thorn in every email marketer's side, the opt-in rule varies widely from one European country to another.


A guide to current opt-in requirements for emailing in Europe
Below is a summary of the current situation regarding EU opt-in and opt-out regulations 

Country Individual business email address Generic  company  email address  Law of reference Degree of stringency
(1=mild 4=Very strong)
Austria
Opt-in is required when:
a) The message sent is a direct marketing email
b) The message is sent to over 50 recipients
 
Opt-in not required § 107 Telecom Law 2003
(TKG 2003)
3
Belgium
Opt-in is required in all cases 
Opt-in not required Chpt. IV, art.  13-145 Law on certain legal aspects of information society services 3
 
Denmark
Opt-in is required in all cases 
 
Opt-in required  §6 of the 2000 and 2005 Marketing Practises Acts  3
Finland
Opt-in is the general rule, but if the message concerns a product or service that is directly related to the recipient's job function consent is not required 
 
Opt-in not required The code for Information Society and Communictaions Services January 2015 2
France
Opt-in is the general rule, but if the message concerns a product or service that is directly related to the recipient's job function consent is not required
 
Opt-in not required The CNIL's 2005 interpretation of  the European Directive  regarding BtoB emailing 2
Germany
Opt-in is required in ALL cases. Mesages should also contain the possibility to "opt-out from behaviour tracking" ie: the possibility to refuse to have the recipients' open and clicking behaviour traced. 
 
Opt-in required Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb 4
Ireland
Opt-in is the general rule, but if the message concerns a product or service that is directly related to the recipient's job function consent is not required 
 
Opt-in not required §13 of the European Communities Regulations (amended by the Citizens' Rights Directive) 2
Italy
Opt-in is required in all cases 
 
Opt-in required Chpt.X § 130 Decree N° 196 30thJune 2003 3
Netherlands Opt-in is required except if the personalised business email address is available publicly (eg: on internet in  social media), in which case prior consent is not required. Opt-in required Art. 11.7 Dutch Telecommunication Act 2
Norway
Opt-in is required in all cases 
 
Opt-in required §15 Marketing Control Act 2009 3
Spain
Opt-in is required in all cases 
 
Opt-in required General Telecom Law on Electronic Communications 2012 3
Sweden
Opt-in is the general rule, but if the message concerns a product or service that is directly related to the recipient's job function consent is not required
 
Opt-in not required The Personal Data Act 1998 &
The Swedish Marketing Act 2008 
2
Switzerland
Opt-in is required in all cases 
 
Opt-in required New Federal Telecommunication Law 2007 - UCA Act. 3
United Kingdom Opt-in is NOT required Opt-in not required Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 1


N.B: In all of the above countries a "soft" opt-in is accepted if a recipient's email address was collected in the context of the sale of a service or product and if the email sender is using the address for direct marketing of similar services or products. 

Also, common to the legislation regarding emailing across Europe, is the requirement to always provide a means for the recipient to unsubscribe and that this request by the recipient be respected by the sender.  

It is also obligatory that the sender should be clearly identifiable to the recipient.

Find out more about compuBase emailing services here

 

IT data selection To create your own company selections 
Try our online selection tool >>here

For further information about our channel statistics
and services >>Contact us here