Many people have no idea there are laws regarding what emails are allowed to be sent. This law is called the CAN-SPAM Act, and it was put into effect by President George Bush in 2003. The purpose was to stop a large amount of spam the everyday person was receiving in their inbox daily. CAN-SPAM was updated in 2008 with more rules and regulations.
The CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply to average people; the law specifically is designed for businesses who use emails to promote or to advertise their products or services through email marketing. Businesses who fail to comply with the laws can face some strong penalties. It is crucial for all businesses, small and large, to understand the important conditions.
Here are the 7 important conditions you need to know before starting your email marketing campaign.
1. Let the Readers Know Who Sent the Email
CAN-SPAM wants honesty from businesses who use emails to promote their businesses. This is a very easy condition to follow. Using the “From” and “Reply-to” labels, let the readers know where the email comes from. Make sure to either place your name or your business name in those lines.
2. Include Your Postal Address
In order for the readers to know your business is credible and not a scam, your emails have to contain your postal address of either the owner or the business. This gives your readers another way to let you know they don’t want to receive the emails.
3. Tell The Readers What Is in The Email
Your subject lines shouldn’t be false, although it is fine if they are catchy. Most businesses want their headlines to be eye-catching, but don’t place false hope on the subject lines. If you are sending a discount, let them know. If you are advertising a sale, make a catchy subject line. If the nature of your content is sensitive, you may want to consult with an internet law firm to know how to protect yourself.
4. Tell Them It Is an Ad
This condition only applies to those businesses who send emails without permission. It is a good idea to always have people sign up to receive your emails. This gives them options to unsubscribe, as well as helps you gain more insight into your customers. However, if you don’t have a subscription list, you must let them know the email is an ad.
5. Let Them Opt Out
A lot of people prefer their inboxes not to include messages from businesses. There has to be a way for your readers to opt out or to unsubscribe from your email list. This is a simple addition; just include a link at the bottom of the email to unsubscribe.
6. Honor Their Opting Out
When your readers click the link to unsubscribe from your email list, you have 10 days to get them off of the list. This was one of the additions made in 2008. According to the law, you aren’t allowed to charge any fees, ask for personal information, or sell their contact information to another company. If you use an automation program or a company for your email marketing, unsubscribing is a very simple process.
7. Don’t Go Hands Off
Many companies, especially larger ones, hire other businesses to manage their email marketing campaigns. If you use a program or company to help you with this process, you cannot just assume they are obeying the rules. It is very important to oversee the actions because you will be held responsible for any rules broken.
It is important for you, as a business owner, to know the laws of the CAN-SPAM Act. You will be held responsible for any rules broken, and you may face heavy fines for failure to comply.