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CAN-SPAM Act is Important and Painful for Email Marketers

CAN-SPAM Act is Important and Painful for Email Marketers Rajesh Kumar / 01 Oct 2019 / CRM / Marketing / Sales / Startups can-spam act laws

Business practices are changing every day. Nowadays, companies and startups are interested in increasing market share maximization with the use of new technology like email marketing. Today digital marketing tools practice helping those companies in attaining its position by targeting niche audience of like-minded interest which those companies product can offer to them. The can-spam act is necessary and painful for email marketers.

The myth of Email Marketing Without Considering CAN-SPAM ACT

We come across many situations where we become the victim of these “trap” technologies. Have you ever asked why most of the times when you visit any trade expo, your business cards were asked to be given at the venue, or a form is asked to be filled?

Taking business cards at an event is a modern advent business practice which is done deliberately. Companies participating in the event can shoot emails to you with the product advertisement directly in your inbox. After a couple of weeks, you figure out that your inbox is bombarded with email of different business verticals. Most of them were participants and prospective clients.

Your email account is flooded with the mail which has of no use to you.

The person at the event beliefed you could be a prospect. They have added your email in their mailing list without seeking permission from you. With a firm belief that you like their business email, they start sending an email directly in your inbox.

The other worst hookup situation is when the email received has no “unsubscribe” or opt out option. However, it is a law in the U.S. that a company must provide you with an unsubscribe — so look harder (usually at the very bottom of the site).

CAN-SPAM ACT Nightmare

You have two options left with you, either to write them to stop sending mails or put that email in spam. Though their strategy is to draw attention to the various services they offer — it can become a CAN-SPAM nightmare for you. Those senders had no idea that they violated the law and can be heavily penalized for such activity.

Such activity can lead to loss of potential business they can render in the future either directly by the prospective buyer or through referral by violating email marketing regulations. You might have come across with this kind of situation when you exchange card without knowing that you are welcoming unwanted emails in your inbox. The sender hardly bothers that the sent mail is sent whether you have an interest or not.

Email marketing and digital marketing are fantastic ways for businesses to flourish and boost sales.

The marketing also keeps their customers up to date on company information. It’s fast, it’s relatively simple to set up, and it’s one of the most cost effective ways to market your business and drive customers to your website. Many startups prefer this medium of marketing as the cost effective way of communication to get connected with the potential customer.

Sending emails and digital messages can only be done if it’s done properly. The following guidelines of CAN-SPAM ACT.

Email marketing is also one of the quickest ways to irritate your customers and make them stop buying your products without getting permission to send emails. And it’s an easy way to break the law. Email marketing is regulated and governed by Federal law of the US.

In 2003, President George W. Bush signed the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act bill into law to stop the onslaught of spam that was landing in everyone’s inbox. The US law was subsequently updated in 2008. Businesses, get up-to-date now so that you are in compliance.

In brief, it means you CAN’T SPAM.

The penalties for not following CAN-SPAM regulations are very high. The sender of commercial email charged up to $16,000 for every email sent. As marketers, this makes our job more difficult, but it affects us, so we’ve got to pay attention. Here’s a quick guide that gives a breakdown of the Act in layman terms, and it focuses on the main parts you need to be concerned with. Here it goes:

  • Tell your subscribers where you’re located.

    You need to include your physical mailing address on every email bottom you send. It can be your current street address, an office address, or a private commercial mailbox.

  • Tell readers where your email is coming from.

    The law focuses on transparency of email. The “From” “To” and “Reply to” labels marked on email need to tell the recipient where the email comes from. In other words, these fields should contain the sender’s name or the business name.

  • Write an honest subject line of email.

    Your subject line should reflect what’s in the email. You can’t be deceptive here. Using False Or Even Misleading Information Is A Strict No-No. In other words, don’t write “Claim your $200 gift card” in the subject line to get people to open an email that’s really about a new product.

  • Honor opt-out requests within 10 days of unsubscribe.

    If someone wanted to opt-out from the mailing list, you must remove that person within 10 days of their request. At the bottom of the commercial email, you can provide a link to unsubscribe. Email service providers like MailChimp will automatically remove a subscriber from your list when someone makes an opt-out request.

    If you use one, you’re all set. You can’t charge any fees for this service or ask for any personal information or sell the person’s contact information to another company.

  • Email As Advertisement.

    Admit it. Most emails that marketers send to their subscribers and customers are an advertisement in some form or the other. So, identify it as an ad. Provide full disclosure that you are advertising, and the law will be by your side.

  • Monitor what others do for you on your behalf.

    If you have virtual assistants or you hire another company to manage your email list, supervise all email activities. You are still responsible if the company breaks any of these rules.

Bottom Line:

Use good and sensible judgment and respect your email subscribers. When you set up your next email campaign, it worth to check it against this list of rules to make sure everything is legit. Don’t become a CAN-SPAM nightmare. When you follow these simple regulations passed by the government, you’ll make your prospects happier and steer clear of email-related legal problems.

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Rajesh Kumar

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