Articles Tagged ‘Spam’

CAN-SPAM Act Explained

Thursday, July 26th, 2012


There seems to be a lot of confusion about who you can or cannot send an email too, and it’s no wonder – always thought the name for the Act that legislates this was kinda funny – CAN-SPAM! Hmmm, sounds to me like it’s saying who can we spam? In reality, some do call it the You-Can-Spam Act as it is gives us the parameters to send emails to your database, but hopefully, you are giving great content, so no one will think of it as spam.

First of all, CAN-SPAM is an acronym for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. Now that does sound pretty bad – most of us wouldn’t classify our e-newsletters as an assault, but then again, we may think of some of the ones we receive as an “assault,” so keep that in mind.

Here’s a quick overview explanation of what this Act really is telling us about email marketing:

1. Unsubscribe compliance
a. Visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism must be present in all emails – you know, that unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email
b. Opt out requests are honored within 10 days – but look for a program that does it automatically and fast – 10 days is too long, and if you send out another email before that 10 days is up, those who unsubscribed prior will probably hit the spam button and send you a nasty email – and use an email software program that puts it forever in a “do not mail” list, so you don’t accidentally send one to them if you are having to manually do something about that each time you send an email out

2. Content compliance
a. Accurate from lines – meaning it is coming from your company’s email address or someone in your company
b. Relevant and not deceptive subject lines
c. A legitimate physical address

3. Sending behavior compliance
a. Email message cannot be sent through what is known as an open relay – meaning a third-party email server – spammers did this early on in the Internet world to avoid detection
b. You cannot use harvested email addresses – meaning you cannot use a bought list of email addresses. Email marketing should be permission-based, meaning there is an implied permission given. This act does not say they have to say “yes, send me your newsletter,” but it is very clear you cannot send to harvested email addresses.
c. Your message cannot contain a false or deceptive header. Your header must be relevant to your message, so your contacts can make an informed decision if they want to open it.

Email newsletters are a great way to keep in front of your database consistently. Follow these rules and keep yourself from being black listed or reported as spam.

Serina Kelly

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