Sep 2016

Why and how should we comply with the CAN-SPAM Act?

Certain business industries are not playing by the rules, as they all should, but when it comes to marketing and more specific, to email marketing, breaking the law will not only cost you money but it will hurt your business reputation.

Sending emails for business purposes is no longer a kids’ play and due to the evolution of email marketing, some rules had to be put in place. This is how the CAN-SPAM Act came to be. This law which has been enforced in 2003 and updated in 2008, applies to those who use emails to promote and advertise commercial products.

Whether you are making your first steps into email marketing or you are already a bit experienced in the industry, understanding and complying with CAN-SPAM Act is crucial. This is why we present you the dos and don’ts in a nutshell. It will make it easier for you to succeed in email marketing and understand the importance of these rules.

CAN-SPAM Act in a nutshell

Honesty comes first: We all received at some point those weird emails that pretended to be from a certain person whom you thought you knew. You end up opening those emails just to discover an annoying spam. This is a big no for the marketers. Your emails need to state very clear the sender in the From line. Be honest about your business because identifying the sender will make it easier for recipients to decide whether they can trust you or not.

If we’re talking about how to correctly present and identify yourself, we shouldn’t forget about the address. You will bring even more credibility when adding your postal address in the email. Your recipients will rest assured you’re no scam.

Be transparent: Don’t deceive people by writing a misleading subject line. A lie will not bring you more clients. Maybe your open rate will slightly increase but on the long term you risk losing their confidence and if you get caught you will not enjoy the repercussions. It’s up to you how attractive you make your subject line, but the main rule is to stick to the content of your email.

Once more, be honest! Yes, the CAN-SPAM Act does require marketers to be as honest as possible and to avoid misleading messages. This does not mean you are not allowed to send ads. There is an elephant in the room so don’t pretend you can ignore it. Just admit if you are sending ads. You can still make your emails appealing even if you admit they are ads. Your creativity will make the difference between an email seen as a spam and an unbeatable offer.

Set them free: It comes a time in everyone’s email list when you need to let go. Maybe they got bored of your emails, maybe they are no longer interested in your products or they are just receiving too many emails. For this, you need to let them opt out and unsubscribe. All emails should contain this option and it should also be easy to find.

You can choose how straight forward to be about this if you want to add a funny touch or something that can convince them to stay, but you also have to clearly state the process to unsubscribe. Allow your former subscribers to opt out as soon as possible. Of course that you are not allowed to charge anything for this and you cannot use their personal data unless they agreed with this.

Take responsibility: Many companies which need such services and don’t know how to do it usually outsource this department. However, this doesn’t mean that the responsibility for their actions is transferred to the contracted company. You are still responsible for what they send and for the rules they need to comply with.

These are the rules comprised in the CAN-SPAM Act and for sure is not difficult to comply with them. Having this guideline will actually make your job easier.

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