This post originally appeared on tBL member Joshua Lyon's blog Joshua Lyons Marketing Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.//?#
The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, commonly called the CAN-SPAM Act, helps protect consumers from spam emails sent by marketing companies. This act provides rules and regulations that marketers must follow when sending marketing related emails. This blog post will help you understand the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act and how it impacts the way you, as a company, should communicate with the people on your email marketing list.
Header information consists of the “To” and “From” lines, and the routing information in an email. You cannot use a false name to encourage the receiver to open the email. It’s safest to use your company name or your name when sending emails to your customers.
The CAN-SPAM act requires the subject lines of an email to be clear. It may be tempting to use copy in your subject line that is shocking and engaging, but doesn’t accurately represent the contents of the email. This only misleads and can even frustrate consumers. Because of the CAN-SPAM Act, it is actually illegal to send emails with unclear and inaccurate subject lines. When coming up with copy for your next subject line, ask yourself, Does this accurately represent what the receiver is about to open? If the answer is no, don’t hit send.
It may seem counterintuitive to make it easy on consumers to opt-out of your email list. After all, you want people to stick around for your emails! The CAN-SPAM Act requires businesses to make unsubscribing from their email list easy on consumers. Before 2003, it was rather challenging to opt-out of email lists, especially for those who are not tech-savvy. This difficulty only encouraged the excessive buildup of spam emails. So, what does this mean for marketers today? Today, each email sent by a business must include an easy-to-find ‘Unsubscribe’ button. This protects consumers like you against having to deal with unwanted spam in their inbox.
When someone on an email list decides to opt-out, the business must respect that decision and remove them. It may be common sense to remove someone who asks to be removed, but some businesses haven’t done so in the past. If someone opts-out of an email list, a business is no longer allowed send emails to that person, unless they opt-in again.
In addition to the requirement that people are removed from email lists upon request, the removal of an email list cannot take longer than 10 business days. This means email lists require a lot of maintenance if you do not use an email marketing tool. Most email marketing tools remove emails from their lists immediately, which helps ensure you are compliant with the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act. The unsubscribe button on your emails must also work for at least 30 days after your email is sent. This helps protect those who rarely check their email from spam as well.
In every email, you must include an up-to-date address for your business. This regulation ensures the validity of the business sending the email. If you use a P.O. box for your business mail, you may use that in your emails instead of a physical address. You can include your business’ address anywhere in your emails, but typically people place it at the bottom.
A huge portion of the CAN-SPAM Act is the requirement that businesses are open and transparent with their email marketing. It’s illegal to misguide or trick customers through your emails. This means you must disclose when your email is an advertisement. There are many different ways you can disclose this information in your emails. The bottom line is that you should not be dishonest and attempt to trick people into spending money.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 could greatly impact your email marketing strategy. Fines for the failure to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act can reach up to $41,000 per email. It’s important to study the requirements of the act before starting your email marketing strategy. If you are already honest and are not trying to “clickbait” people into opening your emails, you will probably not need to make much of a change to your email marketing strategy.
If you have any questions about complying to the CAN-SPAM Act or email content creation, we can help! Just fill out the form below so we can contact you.