5 Risks of Working with Non-Compliant Email Partners

For many businesses, working with an email marketing partner isn’t just a choice; it’s a necessity. And when choosing which affiliate to work with, it’s essential to remember that they are not just acting as a business associate, but also as an extension of your organization. 

Choosing an affiliate that shares your organization’s morals and values can be of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to one of the most critical business requirements: compliance.

Working with an email affiliate who prioritizes marketing compliance is crucial to your organization’s success. And forming a partnership with a non-compliant partner can sometimes lead to disaster.

In this blog, we’ll run through 5 of the most significant risks when working with a non-compliant email partner and what it could mean for your organization if you do.

Risk #1: Legal Consequences

One of the most apparent and dangerous risks of working with a non-compliant affiliate is that your organization could face legal consequences for their actions

That’s right, their actions!

Tip: Use LashBack ComplianceMonitor to ensure affiliate content is CAN-SPAM Compliant!

Your company is still on the hook when it comes to partners who violate compliance measures like CAN-SPAM, even if they took action without your approval first. And those penalties for non-compliance can be significant!

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $50,120

And that’s just the monetary penalty—you also must consider the time and effort that would go toward fighting against or responding to these allegations launched by our governing bodies. The cost associated with the time lost to these avoidable issues can add up!

Ultimately, having a non-compliant affiliate can be extra costly when you take into account the time lost and monetary penalties you may face.

Risk #2: Damage to Brand Reputation

Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that compliance standards like CAN-SPAM, UDAAP, and other data protection laws like GDPR weren’t just put in place to try and solicit fines from innocent organizations—they exist for the good of the consumer!

People don’t like spammy emails, and you probably don’t like spammy emails either. Why would you want your affiliates to send them?

Maybe you do like SPAM, though?

Non-compliant emails generally contain misleading information, lack opt-out links, and have ambiguous language. These elements typically do not lead to a good customer experience, which can sour a relationship, hurting your brand.

Working with an affiliate who adheres to compliance best practices will help to improve customer relations through clear messaging.

Risk #3: Loss of Revenue

Loss of revenue, both long-term and short, goes hand-in-hand with many of the risks on this list. In the short term, working with non-compliant partners can lead to fines and other monetary penalties—money coming straight out of the company coffers. 

However, the long-term implications can be much worse.

Lost customers and brand equity damage incurred in the present can have a lasting negative impact on the future. Customers who feel slighted or alienated by your brand are far less likely to buy at a later time. There’s potential for a snowball effect lowering future revenues, hurting the company even more.

Risk #4: Security Threats

If you are working with an email marketing affiliate who practices lax compliance, they might not be the most security-savvy organization. Non-compliant partners can pose potential security risks to your organization. 

Maybe they have access to your systems or have been trusted with sensitive or proprietary information. An affiliate with weak business ethics could be ripe pickings for a cyber attack, exposing your company’s data to criminals.

Your organization should vet affiliates for their compliance efforts and their security posture.

Risk #5: Competitive Disadvantage

Generally, siding with the rule-breakers isn’t advisable in business. By partnering with non-compliant partners, you could be putting your company at an immediate disadvantage.

Compliant organizations are far more likely to be successful and understand what goes into creating effective email campaigns. 

Knowing your email partner is adhering to CAN-SPAM will help you sleep at night

They’re the ones that are most likely to be up-to-date on legal requirements and industry standards, which would give them an advantage over out-of-date, out-of-touch affiliates who have no regard for compliance. Working with a modern, law-abiding email partner is the best way to drive results in the near term and future.


When vetting future email affiliate partners, it is essential to consider all the risks of picking a partner who does not prioritize compliance in their business relationships. They would put your organization at risk for penalties and fines and expose you to potential revenue loss, diminished reputation, and security threats.

See the actual emails that affiliates are sending with BrandAlert

So, although results from previous campaigns are an important factor, you must look at the complete snapshot of a partner. Always evaluate their compliance practices and question them on their CAN-SPAM adherence during the initial courtship.

Keeping these risks in mind can help you decide on a partner to work with in the future.

See how LashBack can help aid in the process by requesting a demo here!

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