We’ve talked before about how effective email can be for marketing your business. But how can you be sure you are following all the “rules”?
In 2003 the Federal Trade Commission published a guide for businesses to help them stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. Everyone who uses email for business is required to follow these guidelines or you can be penalized, which is never good for business.
The basic guidelines you need to follow are:
- Be honest about who you are and who is sending the email. The “To” and “From” fields should identify your business accurately.
- Use subject lines that accurately describe the content of your emails. Don’t mislead recipients with bogus subject lines just to get them to open the email.
- Your emails must contain a valid physical postal address. This can be a PO Box or a physical street address. And the address must be registered to you, the sender. Any time you set up an email autoresponder, they will require you to provide a valid, physical, postal address before you can send any emails.
- Always include a way for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving email from you. This needs to be clear and visible on every email you send. Most email autoresponders will automatically add and unsubscribe link at the bottom of all emails you send using their service. AND when people do opt-out you have to honor the request immediately! Once again, your autoresponder will take care of that for you.
- Make sure anyone who sends emails on your behalf also follows these guidelines as well. Of course most popular email marketing services (like AWeber) make sure you follow these guidelines. If they have customers that violate this law, they can be held responsible as well.
By following these guidelines, you will stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act and keep your readers happy! And your autoresponder service won’t drop you either!