Email Data Management Best Practices

Email marketing professionals from the IAB’s Email Committee developed these Best Practices to remove friction from the email marketing channel by simplifying the core elements of security, deliverability permission and privacy. This document concerns the practices and systems that responsible parties of the email marketing ecosystem should adhere to.

It is the committee’s belief that adherence to these best practices will:

  • Increase the likelihood of email deliverability and therefore campaign performance
  • Promote Consumer and Advertiser trust in and adoption of the email channel
  • Encourage responsible practices by all involved in the email ecosystem

This document outlines recommendations for several key data topics related to email marketing and is intended for publishers, marketers and service providers. These best practices were developed by thoroughly examining several of the most critical issues surrounding the email marketing industry, including privacy, permission, data security, and deliverability. Key best practices include:

  • Senders should only send commercial email to individuals who have provided informed consent
  • For all third-party licensed data, a global unsubscribe mechanism should be implemented
  • Consumer permission to receive commercial email from a List Owner cannot be replicated or transferred without reference to the original point of collection
  • Clear, conspicuous and repeated notice of data collection and use are required
  • Advertisers and marketers should authenticate their email by publicly registering the domains from which they send email
  • Anyone using email for marketing purposes should adopt and use authentication protocols for both their email and corporate domains
  • All parties should use a one-way encrypted hash to encrypt suppression files

The general belief of the Email Committee is that by developing clear data management guidance the industry will increase consumer trust in the medium. The IAB is confident that, if adopted, these Best Practices will protect consumers while improving the overall quality and performance of email marketing campaigns.