The Basics of the CAN-SPAM Act for Email Marketers

can spam act

The Basics of the CAN-SPAM Act for Email Marketers

What you need to know about complying with the CAN-SPAM Act as an email marketer.

In 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act was signed in by President George W. Bush. It set the standards for sending commercial emails in the United States.

The CAN-SPAM Act is still relevant today and the guidelines are something that all email marketers should get to know if they want to avoid facing a heavy fine or being blacklisted.

Brands that don’t comply could face a whopping $16,000 fine for every email that doesn’t meet the act’s requirements.

Who is the act relevant to?

While all email marketers should be following a number of best practices to avoid being marked as spammers, the CAN-SPAM Act is not relevant to everyone.

Email content generally falls under two main categories:

  1. Transactional: Transactional emails are usually the mailers that are sent to customers. The content is relationship based and the business isn’t directly trying to sell them something.
  2. Commercial: A commercial email is used to promote a brand, product or service to email recipients on a database.

Companies that are sending out commercial emails need to comply with all aspects of the CAN-SPAM Act. Transactional emails don’t need to meet all of the requirements of the act but the content shouldn’t be false or misleading.

If your emails contain both transactional and commercial content, look at the core message of the email to decide whether you need to take CAN-SPAM guidelines into consideration.

The dos and don’ts of the CAN-SPAM Act

Below are the basic guidelines to follow as an email marketer.

Do

  • Do honor opt-out requests within 10 days or less.
  • Do make it known that your email is an advertisement. There are ways to do this without discouraging users from opening your emails.
  • Do make sure that your “Reply-To” and “From” addresses are accurate and that recipients can immediately identify who the message is from.
  • Do tell your recipients how they can unsubscribe from receiving any further emails from your business. Make the unsubscribe option clear to avoid being marked as spam.
  • Do monitor what other companies are sending out on your behalf. If you are using a marketing agency or company to handle your email marketing, it’s your responsibility to make sure that they are complying with the CAN-SPAM Act.

 

Don’t

  • Don’t ask recipients to do anything more than reply to an email or visit a web page to unsubscribe from your emails.
  • Don’t sell or transfer a recipient’s email address once they have unsubscribed from your database.
  • Don’t forget to tell recipients where you are located. Your emails need to contain a valid physical or postal address.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines. Recipients should be able to gauge what your email is about based on your subject line and shouldn’t find something different once they open it.

 

Originally posted 2017-12-25 16:15:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter