CAN-SPAM Compliance is not difficult if you are aware of the laws and follow the basic rules. We cover them below and provide more information about what you can do to go beyond the minimum requirements to protect your brand.
Several laws govern the sending of commercial email in many of the world’s largest countries. The 2003 CAN-SPAM Act is the law in the United States, the Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is the law in Canada, while the European Directive on Privacy is in use in the European Union. All the laws require a digital mechanism for opting out, which is exactly what Ezepo offers to help ensure that you are CAN-SPAM Compliant.
A commonly repeated phrase we often hear from some clients when handling email compliance is “I thought we were doing everything required to be CAN-SPAM Compliant!” to justify sending out unsolicited emails to prospects. CAN-SPAM compliance refers to doing the bare minimum the law requires and is just not enough for the entirety of the email marketing community.
This is the reason why. Assume that a law is in place requiring restaurant delivery persons to deliver food directly to the door of the customer. Some delivery persons may deliver food to your door but fail to ring the doorbell to alert you that it has arrived or may choose to leave it at the garage door where you probably won’t find it for hours. Under the “door delivery law,” they are doing the bare minimum but it is not sufficient for the public to ever wish to order from the company again since it does not care what the delivery persons do.
Claiming CAN-SPAM compliance is equivalent to being a delivery person that delivers food but the company does not bother telling its delivery persons to notify clients that food has arrived. Legally, you might be covered since the food was actually delivered to the door of the customer but it is highly unlikely that customers will be interested in ever using your service again. Doing the bare minimum under the CAN-SPAM Act will not help you achieve the ultimate goal of getting emails to your audience’s inbox ultimately driving sales.
Here is a look at some requirements to ensure CAN-SPAM compliance is followed as stated in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC’s) CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business.
- Monitor what others do on your behalf including employees, vendors, partners, or affiliates.
- Promptly honor any opt-out requests.
- Advise recipients on how to opt-out of getting future emails from you.
- Inform recipients about your location by including your physical street address.
- Avoid using email Subject Lines that are deceptive.
- Identify messages as ads when that is what they are.
- Avoid using any misleading or false information in the email body or subject line.
If you look keenly, you will notice that one important thing which is missing is permission. No part of the law actually requires clients to provide explicit permission allowing sending them mail. Spam has been defined as unsolicited bulk mail meaning that the CAN-SPAM act actually does not prevent spammers from sending emails. It just makes identification of marketing emails easier. Under the CAN-SPAM act, it is possible to send unsolicited emails as you wish but still remain be within the definition CAN-SPAM Compliance as far as the law is concerned.
Take the Extra Step – How to Go Beyond the Minimum Required
If spamming is technically legal according to the set guidelines, why then do most Email Service Providers (ESPs) actually enforce permission-based marketing policy? ESPs use this policy not only for protecting their electronic address sending reputation along with that of their clients but it is unambiguously designed to be far stricter than 2003’s CAN-SPAM Act. The additional layer of protection is designed this way to ensure compliance with industry standards as well as ensuring that clients are sufficiently covered should the existing spam laws change without experiencing any significant disruption in their business processes. It also protects their email sending reputation along with that of their clients thereby offering the highest possible deliverability.
About 90 percent of all the mail sent by marketers and advertisers is regarded as spam and never reaches the client and customer inboxes. Besides staying compliant with the local law, the best way to guarantee high deliverability and low spam complaints is ensuring that all mailings are exclusively permission based.
CAN-SPAM Compliance & Opt-Out Suppression Lists
Subscribers that wish to avoid receiving future messages from advertisers can enter their email addresses on an opt-out site to opt-out from the messages. The email addresses that subscribers enter on the site become part of an opt-out list also referred to as “suppression list“. No future mailings will include email addresses from the opt-out list in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.
The United States CAN-SPAM Act requires advertisers to remove all email addresses of subscribers that opt-out from receiving future mailings within 10 business days of the unsubscribe request. The mechanism for opting out should continue operating for not less than 30 days after the subscriber receives the message. Violation of this rule can result in a penalty of up to $40,000 for every single violation. Ezepo is a complete solution for ensuring that your company is always protected and compliant so that you never have to pay such stiff penalties.
If you want additional information on opt-out compliance, Ezepo is your go to company to save you the cost, stress, and headache of hiring more tech team members or taking several hours every single week to manage opt-out compliance. Ezepo’s automated features can do all the work for you. What we offer includes collection, management, and distribution of opt-outs thus ensuring that you remain compliant while we handle your CAN-SPAM Compliance worries. Get in touch today to get started.