What legal issues do you have to be aware of when building an email list?

legal requirements email list singapore

As online marketers like to say, the “money is in the list”. As new platforms for reaching out to customers come and go, email has remained one of the most effective ways of reaching targeted customers. Many a startup has focused their go-to-market strategy on one (or a couple) of social media platforms only to see their hard work go up in flames when these platforms change the way they operate.

Email remains an essential component of the Singapore startup’s marketing toolkit because a customer’s email is an asset you have more control over. By building an email list, the startup is building a valuable marketing resource for itself and there are tons of email list-building service providers out there to simplify the process, some of which include Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact and Convert Kit.

However, there are some legal aspects you have to be aware about when you build your first email list for your startup.

Data Protection Laws

When you collect a personal email address from your customers through a website, you need the consent of that customer. It’s important for your startup to be familiar with the data protection laws in Singapore, namely the Personal Data Protection Act. In Singapore, it’s a legal requirement to have a Privacy Policy drafted for your website when you handle personal electronic data.

Email Disclaimer

Email disclaimers are those things hanging around the bottom of an email in the email signature. You’ve likely seen one before unless you’re one of the few people left in a first world country without an email account.

If you’ve ever wondered what function it serves, the main reason they’re used in Singapore is to help serve legal and sometimes marketing purposes. Email disclaimers can help to prevent breach of confidentiality if information is leaked out by the recipient or to disclaim liability to the company in the event the email accidentally contains a virus. Startups are also liable for the content of the emails sent by their employees but it would be next to impossible to track every email an employee sends out.

As such, a good email disclaimer can potentially help protect the startup from being held liable for the content of its email.