We hate junk mail. It is the last thing we want to see in our inbox and the last thing we want our customers to associate with our product.
Here are 6 easy steps to help keep your enewsletter in compliance with CAN-SPAM Laws.
1) Tell the truth. Your “from”, “to”, “reply”, and “subject lines” should all be accurate. Recipients should easily tell which company or person sent the message and what they can expect to read when they open it. Be truthful and transparent. It’s the law and it is good business.
2) Call a spade a spade. If your email is an advertisement, it must clearly say so.
3) Don’t hide. Your email must include your physical address which should also be a valid postal address. Post Office Boxes or rented mail boxes are okay. This is nonnegotiable.
4) Ask permission. Participants should opt-in to your enewsletters. Double opt-in processes provide an added layer of legal protection to your business. Opt-in mailing lists take time to build but ultimately are more profitable than the alternative. Why? Recipients who have opted-in actually want to read what you are sending them. They are less likely to unsubscribe or mark you as spam, and possibly more likely to refer you to a friend. . . tell me, isn’t that the kind of list you want?
5) Let ‘em go. Your message must state how the recipient can opt-out. It should be clearly stated and be easy to find. An opt-out mechanism tied to an e-campaign should be valid for at least 30 days. Requests to opt-out should be honored within 10 days. It is appropriate to let the recipient know their request has been honored.
6) Don’t pass the buck. Even if you wanted to, the law is clear. Your email marketing is your responsibility and you cannot contract that responsibility away. If you send out spam both you and the company that you hired to send the message may be legally responsible.
CA-SPAM Act of 2003 was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The full name of the bill is: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003. It was originally focused on pornography but Senator John McCain added a last-minute amendment which included businesses.
For more information on CAN-SPAM laws, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Website.