There are three main reasons why you should care about email legitimacy.
- Legality: don’t get sued
- Deliverability: Email inboxes are more limiting.
- User experience: build customer loyalty
CAN-SPAM is the main legislation for email marketing in the United States. It stands for The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act in 2003. Fair warning, there are a bunch of acronyms in this episode.
Here are 7 things to know about CAN-SPAM.
- No misleading info in the header. (From, to, reply to)
- No deceptive subject lines.
- Tell recipients where you’re located. Usually in the footer.
- Let people opt-out. Honor the opt-out promptly (within 10 days).
- Identify unsolicited emails as an ad. (Lots of loopholes)
- Don’t scrape emails. Can still buy lists.
- Monitor what others (eg. marketing agencies) are doing for you. Still liable.
Where does CAN-SPAM fall short?
CAN-SPAM is a joke because it means businesses can spam people.
- Too many loopholes. Doesn’t actually ban spam.
- You don’t have to get permission to email someone.
- People can’t sue you for getting spammed.
- Too hard to enforce.
- Overrules state legislation, which could do more to limit spam.
There are two other pieces of legislation you should be aware of: GDPR and CCPA.
- GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation.
- This went into effect in 2018 for the European Union.
- CCPA is California Consumer Privacy Act effective in 2020.
- It’s similar to GDPR, but limited due to CAN-SPAM.
- This gives consumers more control over their data, but only in certain instances.
There are plenty of reasons why you should see to be ethical, not just legal.
- Don’t send email ‘blasts’ people. Use different termoniology: campaign, send, etc.
- Use a legit email platform like Mailchimp or Active Campagin.
- Test for email spamminess, like Mail Tester.
- Don’t buy lists. Get permission before emailing.
- Send relevant content that people care about. Test out what gets responses.
- Watch your churn rate (% of sends who: unsubscribes + bounces + marked as spam)