Email marketing is one of the most widely used and cost effective methods of marketing. The CAN-SPAM act applies to all senders to protect the recipient.
The below points are set out by the CAN-SPAM act. Failing to comply with these requirements may lead to your server and/or domain being blacklisted or blocked for future use.
Recipients must know if it is an advertisement.
If you intend on selling something using this method, you are required to inform the recipient. This can be done in many ways. Many use small print in the header or footer of the email, or within the subject.
Include your address.
You are required to include a legal mailing address and business identity (You need to identify yourself). This can be a street address or PO Box, both are acceptable.
Use the correct header information.
By providing the correct header information, you show that you are not trying to hide who you are. The “To” and “From” of the message need to include the correct contact information. Ideally, the domain you use to send your emails should match your business identity that you include in the email.
Subject Lines must reflect message content.
The subject of your email is a vital part of your campaign. It needs to be on point with and related to the content you are sending out. Your subject line may not be misleading or have any negative connotation towards your recipients.
Include an unsubscribe or opt-out option.
Unfortunately, not everyone will always want to be a part of your email list. Your recipients must be given the opportunity to unsubscribe from your list. It is illegal not to include an unsubscribe option in every email sent out using a mailing list.
Respect the wishes of those who unsubscribed.
It is vital that when a recipient unsubscribes from your link, that they are removed from your list. Failing to do so may result in a complaint being laid against your domain.
Comply – No matter what.
By sending out an email campaign, you are legally required to follow the CAN-SPAM act. Whether you are doing all the email marketing in-house or outsourcing it, you are required to ensure that the CAN-SPAM laws are followed. Failing to do so could result in complaints and tarnish your online reputation.
Do’s and Don’ts When Creating A Subject Line
Your subject line needs to describe the subject of your email – Simple!
Ensure your subscribers know what they have signed up for. If you are sending out a newsletter, mention that it is a newsletter and its edition number. If you are sending out a promotion, tell them what inside.
Occasionally, use the subscribers name in a subject.
People find a subject line very appealing when a number or question is included. Eg: “5 Tips” or “Joe, how many emails do you send out in a month?”
Keep your subject line to 50 characters or less. Going over 50 characters will result in the subject line overflowing and nobody will see the rest of it.
Remember, the best subject lines tell what’s inside. The worst sell what’s inside.
DO NOT WRITE YOUR SUBJECT IN CAPS! It is considered bad “netiquette” and will put users clean off even opening your email.
Avoid using the following words in your subject line. They appear “spammy” and your email will more than likely end up in your recipients “Spam” folder.
- 50% Off
- Click Here
- Call Now
- Act Now
- Order Now
- Percent Off
Avoid buying lists. Using shoddy lists can harm your reputation as many include spam traps.
It can be time consuming, but rather build your list of subscribers using an opt-in form somewhere on your website. By doing this you can have the peace of mind knowing that these subscribers willingly signed up to receive your newsletters.
Sola Newsletters has the functionality for you to do this by simply dragging a “Subscribe” box into any widget area of your website.
The following actions can get your server, domain or even both blacklisted online:
- Spamming users.
- Not complying with the CAN-SPAM Act.
- Attempting to send more emails than your daily limit (This limit is dependent on your server or hosting provider).
This will render your domain as completely useless should this occur.
Much like we all have a credit score, the domain you send your emails from has a sending score. Having a good sending score (A good reputation) will allow your emails to go directly into subscribers’ inboxes, as long as your email complies with all other requirements. A bad sending score will do the exact opposite – your emails will end up in Spam folders within the blink of an eye. It is vital to keep your sending score as high as possible.
Your reputation will follow you around wherever you go. With this in mind, you need to keep up a good reputation when sending out emails. This is also why having a high quality list of subscribers is so important. By having a bad subscriber list, you will run the risk of being reported for spam and have complaints filed against you. This will lower your sending score.
You can check what your sending score is at http://senderscore.org/