The best way to keep from being labeled a “SPAMMER” is to know the legal requirement of the CAN-SPAM Act and to stay in compliance.
History and Penalties:
CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. It is federal legislation signed into law by the 2nd Pres. Bush and describes the legal requirements that must be fulfilled by senders of commercial email. The Penalties are $250 per email, with a cap of $2 million that can be tripled for aggravated violations. But don’t worry, this law is largely unenforced and is so poorly written it’s commonly referred to as the “You-Can-Spam” Act because the bill explicitly legalizes most email! In particular, it does not require e-mailers to get permission before they send marketing messages. Go figure!
Legal Requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003:
- Use a legitimate return email address.
- Provide a valid physical address.
- Clearly label commercial email as advertising.
- Use a truthful and relevant subject line.
- Provide a working opt-out link.
- Process opt out requests within 10 business days.
As long as you are compliant with these six legal points, you have not violated the law. The good news is most email marketing services, like Vertical Response, come with tools that help keep you in compliance.
If you have any questions about email marketing please don’t hesitate to contact me. I love email marketing for small business owners and could talk about this topic all day!