The ICO exists to empower you through information.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (as amended) (PECR) cover the sending of electronic mail for direct marketing purposes.

This guidance discusses electronic mail marketing in detail. Read it if you have detailed questions not answered in the Guide to PECR, or if you need a deeper understanding of how PECR applies to electronic mail marketing.

This guidance covers what you must do to comply with PECR if you want to send direct marketing by electronic mail. Where this guidance uses the word “must”, this means that the law requires you to do something (so it’s a legal requirement). Where we use the word “should”, this is what we consider important to help you comply. You should follow this unless you have a good reason not to (good practice). However, you may take a different approach and still comply. Where we use the word “could” this refers to an option(s) that you may want to consider to help you comply (good practice). We have highlighted these words for ease.

If you haven’t yet read the electronic mail marketing page in the Guide to PECR, you may find it useful to read that first. It introduces this topic and sets out the key points you need to know, along with a practical checklist to help you comply.


What is electronic mail marketing?

What are the rules on direct marketing using electronic mail?

How do we comply with the rules on sending marketing by electronic mail?

What else do we need to consider?