Do you use email to market your business? The CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) is the big boy statute that dictates the do’s and don’t’s of email marketing. The CAN-SPAM Act regulates all commercial emails. Of course you have to first understand, what constitutes commercial:
How do you know if your email is regulated by the CAN-SPAM Act?
If your email promotes a product or service then it must satisfy the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act.
The requirements are:
- Subject lines, email headers, and domain names must be accurate and not misleading;
- If your message is an advertisement, you must disclose that;
- You must provide a way for recipients to opt-out or unsubscribe from your communications and clearly explain the process in your emails;
- You must actually honor the requests to opt-out or unsubscribe within 10 business days. If you are not using an email marketing program like AWeber, MailChimp or Constant Contact then you have to develop a manual procedure for this. I recommend adding the opt-out or unsubscribe language to your email signature, and creating a filter for those words (“unsubscribe” “opt-out”) in your email program so that you don’t miss those requests.
- Include a valid postal address in your email.
In case you were wondering….
There is a hefty fine for ignoring the law.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could fine you up to $16,000 for each, individual email that violates the CAN-SPAM Act.
My suggestion? Think first before you fire off an email to potential, current or former clients or buyers.
If it’s a commercial email, use a reputable, email marketing service to ensure that you are a law abiding entrepreneur.
For more information, check out the great guide below, compliments of the FTC: