Promotional material sent through email is a great way to reach out to potential customers and direct traffic back to your website. However, when advertising your services it is important that you are aware of the CAN-SPAM Act, failure to comply with the law could be a costly mistake. The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have businesses stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. The CAN-SPAM Act covers all commercial messages and any electronic mail that promotes a commercial product or service.
All of Global Reach’s clients need to follow the rules set by the CAN-SPAM Act in order to avoid penalties of up to $16,000. Following the CAN-SPAM Act will also give your mailing list and e-newsletters an advantage. Emails following the CAN-SPAM Act are more likely to be seen as valid, bettering the chance that the email will be delivered to a recipient’s inbox, rather than their spam or junk folder.
Following the law is not complicated. Here is a rundown of the CAN-SPAM Act's main requirements:
- Don’t use false or misleading header information. “From,” “To,” “Reply-To” and routing information must correctly represent who is delivering the email or newsletter.
- Identify the information in the email message with a clear, corresponding subject line that will not mislead readers.
- Identify the message as an advertisement.
- Tell recipients where you are located by including a valid mailing address.
- Clearly state how recipients can stop receiving your emails by giving a return email address. Or, make sure to offer another easy internet-based way to allow people to communicate that they would like to unsubscribe.
- Handle a recipient’s request to stop receiving emails promptly. The law states that you have to be able to process this request within 10 business days. To take this a step further, Global Reach recommends highlighting the link or text where the recipient can unsubscribe.
- Monitor contract companies hired to handle email marketing. The law clarifies that you can outsource your email marketing but the legal responsibility to comply with the law rests with both companies involved.