We all are familiar with the developments in the legislation concerning internet security and user satisfaction. As the connectivity penetrates more into our lives, so do the new regulations about them. E-mail, on the other hand, being the oldest means of communication in the digital world, is the first to be affected by the regulations. And it’s surely far from being surprised when you think about how e-mail is still the king of the digital communication channels as one-third of the world population uses it.
Among those legislations is the CAN-SPAM Act which has been in force in the US since 2003 and sets the rules for commercial e-mail, establishing requirements for commercial messages and bringing tough penalties to the scene for the violations.
The law defines the commercial message as “any electronic mail message where the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service”. To find out if it covers your business e-mails or not, checking the content’s primary purpose is essential. There are three types of content:
Commercial content –advertisement or promotion of a commercial product/service.
Transactional/relationship content –facilitation of an agreed-upon transaction.
Other content –neither commercial nor transactional/relationship.
After discovering that the law covers your commercial messaging activity through e-mail marketing, these are the requirements that you should comply:
- Relevant header information
Correct routing information should be provided in the header of the e-mail. It includes the sender, recipient, subject and date.
- Accurate subject line
The subject line should be consistent with the content of the e-mail and shouldn’t be deceptive.
- Identification of the message as an ad
Disclosing clearly and conspicuously that the message is an ad is a must.
- Stating your location
A valid physical address is required. It can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the US Postal Service or a private mailbox with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
- Provision of an Opt-Out Option In Every Single E-Mail
The unsubscription button should be easy to recognize, read and understand for an ordinary person. It is also recommended that you create a menu containing different types of messages for the recipients to choose from. However, the option to opt-out from all of the e-mails should still be clearly present.
- Fulfilling opt-out requests quickly
Your opt-out mechanism should be valid for at least 30 days after the sending and the request should be implemented in 10 business days at most. It should be free and shouldn’t take long. According to the law, it shouldn’t take more than a reply message or a single webpage to opt-out.
- Monitoring your e-mail marketing company
According to the law, you are the one who’s responsible for the compliance even though you work with an e-mail marketing company like UseINBOX. It means that you are not assigning them the legal responsibilities. Instead, both your company and the company that sends the message on behalf of you can be held responsible.
It’s not that hard to assure compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. All you have to do is to act responsibly and work with the right solution partner.
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