"No Thank You, Spam" - Legal Email Marketing
Hi there, all you aspiring Internet Email Marketing Millionaires!
I have a serious matter to discuss with you today if you are using or intend to use email marketing
in your business. The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, can cause major headaches for you if you fail to maintain strict compliance with the rules and regs this law sets forth. (Think "stabbed-in-the-eyeball-with-acid-dipped-scissors" kind of headaches.)
The CAN-SPAM Act establishes specific requirements for commercial messages, gives your email recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
"Tough penalties you say? How tough?" How's about up to $16,000.00 per email - is that deterrent enough for you? How about some jail time to go with it?
Imagine this scenario: You have started an email marketing business and done fairly well over the past couple of years. You've launched several new product campaigns, sold thousands of units, and built up quite a sizeable list of customers and prospects in your email marketing base. Then one day, someone to whom you've sent an email gets upset with you for whatever reason, maybe they got a damaged product or couldn't get a human to answer your support line or they got fired from their day job and suddenly anyone who appears slightly successful (you) is a target of their ire. They pick up the phone and dial up the Federal Trade Commission's SPAM hotline or fire off a complaint letter about your "barrage of emails", and presto - you and your company are the subjects of a full-blown FTC investigation and/or prosecution.
"How can I avoid this?" Well, by making sure you're in compliance with the SPAM laws. Here's a quick list of the most relevant ones:
1. You can't use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information, including your domain name and email address, must be accurate and identify you or your business as the one who initiated the message.
2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
3. Identify the message as an email marketing ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose that you're trying to sell something.
4.Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical mailing address; it can be a PO box or a street address.
5. Here's a biggie: Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email marketing offers from you. Your message must include a clear explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Then, you must honor opt-out requests within 10 business days. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list.
6. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both your company and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
Hey wait, there's the key! A major part of a successful email marketing business includes an email autoresponder service. That is, for a monthly fee, you subscribe to a service that handles all of your emails. Choosing the right service would include one that guarantees full compliance with the ant-spam laws, right? Right!
If you want more info about properly setting up and managing a successful email marketing business, hit the link below for access to a free video, explaining a complete, proven internet email marketing system, including what to ask when interviewing reps from email autoresponder service companies.
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