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Less Than Half of Organizations Have Adjusted Marketing Technology Strategy to Comply with Privacy Laws

Nearly half (44.7%) of organizations have had to add or change technology in the marketing stack to comply with privacy laws, and some are spending upwards of $10,000 every year to remain up to date with requirements, according to a new study.

Pathwire, a provider of powerful email APIs and intuitive email marketing solutions, released the results of its Data Compliance Survey, a survey of 1,000 IT and marketing decision-makers across the globe on the most common data privacy and compliance trends and challenges. The findings reveal nearly half (44.7%) of organizations have had to add or change technology in the marketing stack to comply with privacy laws, and some are spending upwards of $10,000 every year to remain up to date with requirements.

The majority of survey respondents were based in EMEA (65.4%) and North America (21.7%), which indicates that almost all organizations represented in the study would fall, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CAN-SPAM Act and/or the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).

The top industries represented in the study were IT (35.1%), professional services (13.9%) and financial services (4.4%), which introduces other compliance categories such as Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Despite the fact that most organizations today are required to comply with all privacy regulations as end users can come from any country, 62.4% of respondents reported that their organization is not “completely compliant” with GDPR, CCPA, the new Virginia CDPA or other applicable regulations, depending on region. 24.4% of the respondents don't even know under which jurisdiction their organization falls.

Respondents' answers also varied depending on region, particularly in how many required technology additions to their marketing stack to comply with privacy laws. For example, only 35.4% in North America added to their stack, while almost half (49.5%) of respondents in EMEA noted an added spend.

Moreover, even if not mandatory, less than 40% of respondents said their company implements double opt-in when collecting new email addresses – a best practice of sending a confirmation email to ensure the validity of the addresses.

“Every email marketer in business today is under some sort of privacy regulation, whether industry-specific, region-specific or a combination of the two,” said Nicole Jacobson, VP of Marketing at Pathwire. “Because of the increase in compliance mandates, many businesses are pouring resources into their marketing technology stack in order to make compliance more attainable and provide a better customer experience overall. A very cost-effective and efficient way to choose partners that offer compliant solutions is through email validation as it is one of the very first touchpoints that ultimately determines the success of an email sender’s strategy.”

Running email validation software and implementing double opt-in features improve the effectiveness of email marketing by reducing bounce rates and drastically improving inbox placements. It also helps improve email quality by deterring bad email addresses from harming a company’s reputation and ability to connect with its real customers. By using email addresses that belong to real people, not bots and bad actors, email marketers can improve their customer experience significantly.

As part of the announced survey results, Mailgun by Pathwire recently updated its EU Validations product to confirm validations that are actually GDPR compliant and available through EU infrastructure to keep your data close to home. Mailgun’s EU Validation approach goes beyond simple grammar rules by running checks for all critical issues that can affect sending reputation and email deliverability.

First, it embeds the Pathwire API in the sign-up page or form submission for a customer, which guarantees that only valid email entries can advance through the flow. It also provides smart suggestions for common typos, prevents disposable addresses and protects against bots. Second, it performs batch validations of existing email addresses to ensure clean lists for users. The algorithm catches email addresses that have turned into honey pots and gives email marketers a display of risk scores for every email so that they can make smarter decisions to clean their lists.

“The Data Compliance Survey results show us that many email senders are taking positive steps toward full compliance by adding tools and allocating more resources toward privacy consciousness,” said Jacobson. “Utilizing compliant tools like Pathwire’s EU Validation product is an easy and effective way for companies to use on their path to full-compliance status and allow IT and marketing decision-makers to operate with more certainty.”

To view the full findings from the Data Compliance Survey, click here.


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