Did You Know Bad Email Management Can Be Costly?
In a digital age, many businesses are turning to email marketing as their preferred method of connecting with current and prospective customers. However, when it comes to email marketing, there are a set of rules that need to be followed via the CAN-SPAM Act. If you are found non-compliant, your brand is subject to fines and penalties of up to $16,000 per individual email sent. Non-compliance leaves your brand unprotected and lowers your overall brand reputation and image. In fact, we are seeing more and more sales and marketing teams getting fined due to non-compliance.
To help you understand this complex landscape and what it means to be 100% compliant, we will be diving into everything you need to know about the CAN-SPAM Act.
What is CAN-SPAM?
Staying compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act is key to staying in business. But, what is the CAN-SPAM Act? Enacted on December 16, 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules and regulations for all commercial emails. It gives users the right to opt out and unsubscribe from your email communications at any time. Non-compliance or violations result in heavy fines and penalties.
Here are the requirements posed by the CAN-SPAM Act:
- Senders must not email recipients who have previously opted out of their communication.
- Senders must honor and remove opt-outs from their email list within 10 business days.
- Each email sent must have an opt-out mechanism that makes it easy for consumers to opt out of all future mailings.
- Each email must include the physical address of the individual or business sending it.
- Senders must not use deceptive subject lines and false or misleading information.
- Senders must identify that the email is an advertisement.
Why CAN-SPAM Matters
Things like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act might dominate the headlines at the moment, but when CAN-SPAM violations can cost emailers thousands (if not millions), CAN-SPAM compliance is still absolutely critical to a healthy email program. In fact, it might be more important, as increasingly intricate email marketing programs mean that email compliance is also more intricate. For instance, individual brands might send emails from multiple ESPs, requiring a coordinated effort between departments, platforms, and marketers to stay CAN-SPAM compliant.
Fortunately, with today’s email technology, compliance can be automated. ESPs can add your unsubscribe links and mailing addresses for you, while platforms like UnsubCentral can store and sync opt-outs across platforms.
How to Stay Compliant in 2022
CAN-SPAM may seem complex at first glance, but it is actually relatively simple and easy to follow – if done correctly. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your CAN-SPAM compliance is in order:
- Make sure you have a way to collect and manage your opt-outs. This is especially important if you or your team send emails from multiple ESPs. If you don’t have a way to systematically sync opt-outs across platforms, you may end up emailing an address that has explicitly opted out of your brand’s communication.
- Make sure your emailing partners are honoring opt-outs too! Syncing opt-outs with partners and affiliates is important to maintain CAN-SPAM compliance. If you use affiliate email marketing, be sure to set compliance expectations with your affiliates and monitor partner email activity for all mailings to make sure mailers aren’t abusing your list.
- Check your unsubscribe links. Every marketing email you send must include an unsubscribe link. Many marketers choose to hide this link but by making your unsubscribe link hard to find, you are increasing the chances of email recipients marking your email as spam.
- Double-check your mailing address. Including a mailing address is a simple and essential, part of maintaining CAN-SPAM compliance. Don’t forget to keep it up-to-date!
- Evaluate your email content. The CAN-SPAM Act covers email content as well, so make sure your routine is up to par. Are your subject lines misleading? Brands with a strong sense of humor might send emails with funny “from” names or obviously-inaccurate subject lines, but if it’s not something your audience will pick up on, it’s best to leave comedy elsewhere in your marketing efforts.
Of course, that’s not everything. For a more complete discussion of the CAN-SPAM Act, see our detailed Email Compliance Handbook.
Brands that can maintain compliance will be able to drive improved efficiency, productivity, and deliverability rates. Although email compliance can get overwhelming at times, you don’t have to go through this alone. Take this opportunity to find a partner who can help protect your brand reputation and avoid the risk of non-compliance. The right partner will provide you with the resources, best practices, and tips and tricks to enhance your email marketing efforts so that you can boost sales, drive engagement, and ultimately achieve a successful email marketing campaign.
UnsubCentral provides you with custom-tailored solutions that will help your brand generate more revenue from your email marketing efforts while continuously staying compliant with the law. Contact us for more information about our services.