Does your business use newsletter email marketing to promote its products and/or services online? According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. With the continued increase in the popularity of newsletter email marketing amongst consumers, it is important for your business to remain CAN-SPAM Act compliant. Read on to learn more.
CAN-SPAM Act Overview
The CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) sets the rules for electronic commercial messages. It was enacted to prevent and discourage the transmission of junk commercial email messages. The Act lays out the rules for sending any type of commercial email message in which the primary purpose of the message consists of a commercial advertisement or the promotion of a commercial product or service.
CAN-SPAM Act Compliance
In order to avoid tough penalties and fines from the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC enforces the provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act), before you send your commercial newsletter via email, make sure the following is included in the message:
- Add your business’s postal address to each electronic email;
- Disclose to the recipient that your message contains an advertisement;
- The information within the message must be accurate and not deceptive;
- Make sure you include a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism in every email; and
- Promptly honor opt-out requests within 10 days of notice to cease email messages.
To prevent your business’s messages from being subjected to the fines and penalties of the CAN-SPAM Act (each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000), I recommend you implement a newsletter signup on your website. Your website visitors can voluntarily sign-up to receive newsletter messages from your business which will reduce your liability under the CAN-SPAM Act.
Email newsletter recipients can file a grievance with the commission if they receive commercial emails from your business in which they did not sign-up for. Note, the law does not prohibit a company from emailing any existing customers or prospective customers who have inquired about its products or services, even if these individuals have not provided their permission to receive such messages.
Your company can continue to email such individuals without their consent even if the content of the message tries to sell them something so long as the primary focus of your message is transactional (information that continues the business relationship).
Here at The Law Office of Brandon Woodward, PA, we ensure our clients have the necessary measures in place to be CAN-SPAM Act compliant. If you have questions about your business’s current policies and compliance, contact us today for a free consultation by calling 772-497-6544.