Monica Paul

Monica Paul

CEO Magic Masterminds/Marcomtec

I am sure you use email in your business, we all do.

Most of us even use email to promote our products and services.

Perhaps you remember, in the past, companies used to purchase or rent a database to then send them their promotional emails or newsletters. Some of them still have that practice. This leads to inboxes full of unsolicited email, angry customers, and blacklisted domains and IPs.

The CAN-SPAM Act states: “CAN-SPAM sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have providers stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.”

Realize that theCAN-SPAM Act covers all the commercial emails even those including an Opt-out option. Why?

Simply because the Opt-out links must work correctly, and businesses should never return the opted-out emails to their active mailing database.

In other words, when a person opts-out of your mailing list, this person means NO! And you are not allowed to jump onto this boundary unless you want to risk facing costly penalties for non-compliance.

This law has no exemptions; you MUST comply.

A Few Marketing Best-Practices

The solution is to apply a few marketing best-practices that apart from giving you an attractive and trustable branding will make sure you don’t get into legal trouble:

1. Opt-in: Make sure all registered emails receive a confirmation email. Never accept opt-ins from third parties.

2. Make sure your header information is accurate: Never change or hide the “From,” “To,” and “Reply to” fields. This rule also applies to the delivery email; make sure it is a company email, not a public one (E.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail).

3. Make your subject attractive and according to the email topic. You’re a winner; you don’t need to hook people with a deceptive subject line.

4. Share your location with your recipients. It may be your business’ street address, a PO Box, or a private mailbox at a commercial mail agency established under Postal Service regulations.

5. If your email is an Ad, people have the right to choose if they want to read your email or not. CAN-SPAM Act requires you to notify you are sending an advert.

6. Add an Opt-out notice in a way that is easy for people to find and understand. Email marketing is always about the customers’ choice. They decide when and where to opt-in; the same they determine when to opt-out.

7. Honor Opt-out requests promptly. You must be able to process opt-out request is no longer than ten business days; no fees, no further information or processes required other than sending an email or expressing their desire opting-out in a webpage. Realize that you are not allowed to share or sell this Information, apart from any company you’ve hired to assist you complying with the CAN-SPAM Act.

8. Monitor what others do on your behalf. Always hold your legal responsibility on the emails your company send, even if you have a provider doing so.

9. Keep your transactional emails clean from advertising. CAN-SPAM Act defines as transactional emails those in which you give a receipt, invoice or delivery notice.CAN-SPAM Act only applies to commercial email. However, a transactional email turns into commercial when they include adverts.

10. Forward-to-a-friend promotions. If someone forwards your email to another recipient, you don’t have to worry about CAN-SPAM Act.; unless you have added a “forward-to-a-friend” button and you are offering a discount code in exchange. In this case, you become legally responsible for the spam others may deliver on your name.

A Little Respect is Enough…

As you can see complying with CAN-SPAM Act., is not a big deal if you follow a “respect for the others” bottom line.

Consider that a customer who dislikes your emails is not likely to convert into your client.

Email marketing is an amazingly valuable marketing tool, use it wisely. From the data, you collect, and what you learn about your customers’ behavior; to the relationship, you can build with them. Allow your contacts to choose to get into a relationship with you.

Were you familiar with this Act? Did I help you learning something new today? I am glad I did! Please, leave a comment or question below.

Disclaimer: This blog post is only for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. The opinions presented in this blog do not necessarily reflect Marcomtec and Magic Masterminds’ views.