In 2003 Congress released rules, CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act), governing how commercial email providers can send email messages. The rules were designed to protect consumers and ensure they not only receive emails from companies they want to hear from but also that the emails they receive are not deceiving in nature.
Earlier this year, the FTC enacted four new provisions that provide clearer guidelines and more stringent regulations that force email marketers to take accountability for their practices and ensure clean e-mail lists and clear communication among marketing partners. Some specifics include:
- The “From:” line — the From address and name should be clearly recognizable as belonging to your organization;
- Forwarding – email should not induce your recipients to forward your campaigns (as this excludes the proper opt-out mechanisms);
- Opt-out — the opt-out mechanism should be simplified to a one-step process
If you’re going to make email marketing an important part of your business (well any part of your business) ensure that the email marketing provider you use can help you ensure that your email marketing messages are CAN-SPAM compliant.
Thanks to Constant Contact for the heads up on this. Read more on this, in an article on their web site here.
Constant Contact’s principle is that marketing can and should be a welcomed exchange between a business entity and its constituents, and that only marketing based on recipient approval creates long-lasting customer relationships.