Yes, There ARE Rules For Email Marketing…And You Don’t Want To Break Them!
CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. It was passed in 2003 and it was put into place in order to protect people from receiving email messages they did not want. According to HubSpot, it “is a law that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages,” which essentially means that marketers have to abide by certain guidelines when using email marketing. Because CAN-SPAM was put into place to protect the consumers, businesses have to be extremely careful in obeying the laws set forth.
CAN-SPAM is no joking matter. As stated on the Federal Trade Commission website, penalties are significant. The FTC states that for every “separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subjected to penalties of up to $16,000.” So now that you know how serious it is, you should probably educate yourself on what rules are important to follow. Here are some of the rules surrounding CAN-SPAM. Be sure to research it in depth if you utilizing email marketing and want to make sure you are complying.
Here are the basics:
Location Is Required In Emails – When sending out emails, it is very important that you include a physical address. The physical address that is included can be a street address or a P.O. Box.
Allow People The Opportunity to Unsubscribe From Emails – Each and every email should have an unsubscribe option that allows the recipient the chance to get off of your email list. Should they chose to opt-out, do not exceed ten days when processing their request. Even though unsubscriptions are not ideal for a business owner, the person’s wishes must be respected.
Do Not Sell an Unsubscriber’s Information – Once a user has opted-out of your emails, you are not permitted to sell their email address. This includes mailing lists.
Subject Lines Should Not Be Misleading – Recipient’s should have an idea of what they are receiving and that starts in the subject line. Don’t try to fool them.
Make It Known That Your Email Is An Advertisement – It should be extremely clear that your email is an advertisement. The guidelines for this are not spelled out specifically, but it basically just means to avoid being deceptive.