Are Your Emails Still CAN-SPAM Compliant?

Whenever you engage in any form of email automation, your messages need to be CAN-SPAM compliant. The purpose is twofold: first, to make sure you look like a legitimate sender; second, to give your leads the right to opt-out of communication with you. Here’s why this compliance is even more relevant in today’s digital marketing, and what you can do to make sure you meet all of the necessary requirements.

We’re not saying compliance wasn’t already important before. According to the FTC, each separate email violation faces “penalties of up to $46,517 sheesh! What we are saying is that recent shifts in the market are making compliance that much more important if you want to protect your reputation and continue to grow your sales through digital outbound and inbound marketing.

What Changes Are We Referring To?

Cookies. Google’s big push to say bye-bye to third-party cookies can mean a heavier reliance on first-party data (i.e. what you glean from website visitors), as well as prospecting automation to find and verify email addresses for new leads. This automation depends on emails that look as legitimate and non-threatening as possible so that you a) don’t get trapped in email providers’ spam filters, and b) aren’t actively flagged as spam by the leads you’re contacting. 

Cybersecurity. Ransomware has continued to plague several industries, and many companies are adopting the “if you don’t know the person, don’t open the email” mantra — regardless of the intent of the message. Even some are going as far as to adopt zero-trust policies, where everyone — in-house team members included — are considered threats until proven otherwise. While you may not be able to get around the toughest inbox security, you can at least look as authentic and credible as possible by ensuring that you: a) include your name or your company’s team name as the sender, b) include a physical address and a telephone number for contact, and c) keep your business social media updated (e.g. your Linkedin profile) as a way for leads to verify who you are.

Now that we’ve touched on market changes, what about the CAN-SPAM requirements that you need to meet?

CAN-SPAM Requirements

Here are the main points that the FTC outlines in greater detail on their website:

  • Make sure that the name and email address that you’re sending from is accurate. (Note: If you’re using any companion domains with prospecting automation, those should redirect to your core domain.) The same goes for emails you’re sending to. When those emails hard or soft bounce, make sure that your automation software manages their removal appropriately.
  • Avoid misleading subject lines. It may be tempting to use sensational or urgent messaging to encourage high open rates, but not when the message body has no relation to it. It’s similar to why you shouldn’t engage in clickbait.
  • Provide contact information so that recipients can either respond to your email, call you, or visit your website.
  • Allow recipients to opt out. An unsubscribe link should be visible and active at the footer of every automated email, and you are obligated to honor these requests promptly.

Do You Outsource Your Digital Marketing?

Outsourcing any form of digital marketing is becoming far more prevalent, but the legality of it is still very much tied to your team. Make sure that you know what others are sending on your behalf, because, as the FTC notes, “[b]oth the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.”

We take CAN-SPAM very seriously here at Marketing Armor, and we’ve helped a wide range of companies navigate these requirements in their own personalized email marketing programs. If you’d like to learn more about one, click the link below to request a discovery call.

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