Email marketing is a crucial component of many organizations' outbound marketing strategy. Although crafting the perfect email copy to draw a prospective customer in may be the most important goal of a marketer, creating an email that adheres to the various marketing communication compliance standards, like CAN-SPAM, must also be kept top of mind.
After all - you want leads, not fines!
Developing a successful email marketing compliance strategy isn’t difficult, but it does require some attention to detail and a little extra effort.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it! Compliance standards were developed with the consumer in mind. Keeping your marketing communications compliant protects your organization from significant monetary penalties and provides a better overall experience for the end recipient.
In this blog, we’ll cover ten valuable tips that you can utilize to help craft an email marketing compliance strategy that would make even the FTC proud!
1. Get explicit permission
You should obtain explicit permission before sending out marketing emails to prospects. Use a double opt-in. The recipient must confirm their email address before receiving messages, which will ensure that those receiving your emails are interested in your product or service. Using a double opt-in also has the added benefit of weeding out spam bots that may have signed up for your marketing and improving overall deliverability rates and opens/click-throughs.
2. Make it easy to opt-out
Provide a straightforward way for the recipient to opt-out of future emails. A best practice for this is including a “one-click unsubscribe.” As the name suggests, this means that someone can quickly opt-out through one click, whether by responding to the email or clicking through to a single opt-out webpage.
3. Use a clear subject line
When it comes to CAN-SPAM (and life, in general), any sort of deception is a big no-no! Make sure your subject line is clear and is an accurate representation of the content of your email. Avoid using any tactic designed to trick someone into opening your message, such as adding “Re:” to the beginning of the subject line as if you’re responding to their message or disguising the email as being personal or urgent.
4. Be transparent
Compose a clear and concise message telling the recipient who you are and the product or service you are offering. Keep things simple. Do not try to mask or hide information about your organization. Don’t be secretive!
5. Don't mislead or deceive
Do not intentionally alter or change the header information within the email with the intent to deceive the recipient. This includes elements such as the “from” line, “friendly from,” “to,” and “reply to” portions.
6. Include a disclaimer
Make sure somewhere in your email you make it clear that this is an advertisement or marketing message. Include a sentence or two explaining why they received this email and the purpose/nature of it.
7. Ensure the accuracy of your emails
Sometimes, good email copy has been used for so long that its information becomes stale or inaccurate and needs to be updated. Make sure you're periodically checking your emails, especially if they’re in automated drip campaigns. Keep an eye on things like pricing, product offerings, and general company information. Keeping your messaging up-to-date can ensure clarity with your customers and avoid confusion.
8. Monitor third-party marketing activities
If you work with an email marketing affiliate, you are responsible for messages they send out on your behalf. You must monitor all 3rd party affiliates to ensure they are not changing your messaging and are adhering to CAN-SPAM requirements.
9. Train your staff
Make sure that anyone in your organization responsible for email marketing is trained on the requirements of CAN-SPAM and understands the importance of keeping your marketing communications compliant. You should establish periodic check-ins and retraining sessions to ensure employees are most up-to-date on new requirements.
10. Keep current on compliance standard requirements
Compliance standards are fluid and constantly changing! You must stay current with the requirements of CAN-SPAM and other marketing regulations like UDAAP, CCPA, and GDPR. You can then pass on information to other employees.
Achieving Email Marketing Compliance
By utilizing the best practices in this blog, you’ll be running compliant email marketing campaigns in no time! Although this list may seem long, if you write clear, informative content, you will have already checked off most of these items.
Remember, these are just guidelines - the tips in the blog do not qualify as a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Email marketing campaigns are always unique and should be looked at case-by-case, utilizing the most relevant information presented here.
You can find these tips and more on our CAN-SPAM compliance checklist, which can be a valuable asset for crafting your emails. Check it out by clicking here!