Clear About Unsubscribes
For the unsubscribe process on your database to be POPI complaint, it must be clear, easy, free of any penalisation or cost, and in the same channel as the communication. For instance, if you send an email, the opt-out process must also be email or internet-based – it isn’t acceptable to ask them to send an SMS for this.
The same goes for SMSs: opt-outs must be SMS-based. This can get tricky, because opting out also can’t cost the contact anything to process. Luckily, Elizabeth explains that there are SMS short codes you can create that enable contacts to send opt-out messages completely free of charge.
It’s important that you manage unsubscribes regularly and effectively to keep your database POPI compliant – something that can get laborious as your database grows (unless you use Everlytic, of course – the platform manages unsubscribes automatically for you).
Collecting Data with POPI
Consent that keeps your database POPI compliant is clear, ethical, and transparent. To do this, Novation Consulting recommends ensuring your request for consent is:
- Specific: You must collect every piece of information for a specific purpose (like a name and email address for a digital newsletter) – not just in case you need it.
- Informative: You must give the individual enough information about what you’re using their information for before they decide whether to consent to it, including your company’s details and any third parties you’ll be sharing the information with.
- Explicit: The contact must give consent through a clear, specific, and affirmative act (like filling in an online form).
- Distinct: The consent must be distinct from any other action (i.e.: not hidden in a purchasing contract).
- In opt-in format: Steer clear of any pre-ticked boxes or any kind of default consent – they must actively opt in specifically for each list.
- Written in plain language: The kind of language we use to talk to people on the street every day – no legalese or complex jargon.
- Flexible: Give people the ability to consent separately for different purposes and adapt their preferences when it comes to mail frequency and the type of content they receive.
- Transparent: Give contacts access to the data you’ve collected on them.
Follow these guidelines (and the specifics we cover in our 2020 POPIA Guide) and you’ll be set to grow and keep your database POPI compliant.
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