The Key to Email Marketing Compliance
Maintain Your Digital Reputation
There is more to know than meets the eye when it comes to email marketing. Federal laws, sending reputation, data regulations and compliancy have made email marketing increasingly complicated. If you don’t know what you are doing, sending an email campaign can be potentially detrimental to your company’s digital health.
Something marketers often forget about their customers is that they, just like anyone else in the world, like to be reassured that they aren’t being scammed before they buy into a product or service. If this feeling of comfort isn’t established early on, it may be far more difficult to keep consumers interested in your product or service. A business must not only meet federal regulations, but exercise morally sound behaviors on a consistent basis to gain the trust of consumers.
Let’s go over the basics for sending an email campaign or an email blast to potential customers. When it comes to the construction of your email, the email itself must be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email.
Following the rules presented by these laws involves keeping just a few fundamental business email rules in mind:
- The company’s email is expected to have a street address within the email. This is to ensure that your target demographic knows where their mail is coming from and, in the benefit of the marketer, gives them an apparent avenue to reach the marketer.
- A marketing email must also include a link to unsubscribe — and it cannot be invisible, despite what you may see some companies getting away with. This function is crucial to the email constructing process, because if there is no unsubscribe link available to your customer, they can report you to the Federal Trade Commission, and subject to penalties of up to $42,530 per offence.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you’ve sent the email. You must honor a recipients opt-out request within 10 business days.
- Identify your email message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
- Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address must be accurate.
- The law makes clear that even if you hire an outside company or advertising agency to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the email and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
Frankly, anything that makes your email sound like a spam — something that in this day and age, people have developed a strong sense for— will only deter people from giving your company a chance. By using terms intended to attract reactionary attention, you can actually do your company harm by destroying it’s ethos.
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