CAN SPAM Act – E-Mail Marketing the Inside Story

 

1. Spam is Spam.

I would like to clear the definition of spam here. Any unsolicited commercial message is a spam. Even if you send such messages to your friends, family members or subscribers, you are spamming them. They don’t report you or opt-out because of the special relationship they share with you. Some businesses take undue advantage of this and spam their clients/subscribers on regular basis. Two such culprits are ‘web pro news’ and ‘Go daddy’. I use their services, so they think they have the right to spam me every second day with their products and offers. Such type of tactics should be avoided. If email marketing can make your brand, it can break it too. In short don’t take advantage of the special relationship you share with your target audience by bugging them with your mails every now and then. Unless and until you don’t have any major announcement, don’t mail them. RSS Feeds are meant for website updates and not e-mails.

 

2. US legalizes Spam

As long as i know, US is the only country which has legalized Spam and this is evident from the fact that they have the CAN-Spam Act of 2003.

the CAN-SPAM Act is commonly referred to as the “You-Can-Spam” Act because the bill explicitly legalizes most e-mail spam. In particular, it does not require e-mailers to get permission before they send marketing messages.
Source: wikepedia

In short, as long as you follow the CAN SPAM act guidelines you can spam like hell. Following are the CAN SPAM Act Guidelines (summary) which your e-mail must follow if it is a commercial mail:

  1. Sender address must be accurate & must identify the person or company who sent it. It means you can’t mask your real identity.
  2. Subject of the e-mail message must not be misleading. It should be relevant to the body of the message.
  3. The message should clearly identify itself as an advertisement.
  4. The message should clearly specify the physical address of the sender (Post Box no. is allowed).
  5. The mail should clearly specify the un-subscribe (opt-out) mechanism. It should also be workable and must unsubscribe the recipient within 10 business days.

 

3. E-Mail Marketing is a dirty business. Deal with this fact.

There is no such thing as legitimate mailing list in email marketing. Nobody likes to see commercial messages in his/her inbox whether it is from friend, family member, acquaintance or complete stranger. Spam is spam. So if you do e-mail marketing it makes complete sense to purchase email database of the target audience and spam them (but in moderation like once or twice in a week after every one month). In short don’t bombard them with your commercial messages to the point, that they start hating you/your brand. You can’t be a saint and a mobster at the same time. So keep this thing in mind that every time you send out a commercial message, you are doing something which can’t be considered as positive karma.

4. Never use your domain/server to spam

Never send out mails esp. large volume of mails using your mail server and domain name. Guys who are hard core email marketers buy hundreds of domains and dozens of IP blocks every month just for spamming and use these domains in their emails. These domains are then 302 to the main site.  So even if a domains or IP is reported and blocked, the parent site doesn’t get into trouble. If you are a small business and can’t afford to buy hundreds of domains and IP blocks every month, then Use third party e-mail marketing software. In this way if something bad happens (like blockage of IP), your email marketing company will bear the consequences and not your domain and mail server. However both you and your email marketing company can be considered legally responsible if there is a violation of the CAN SPAM Act.  The violation may result in hefty fine or Jail term.

5. Fact about the Newsletters

Publish and distribute newsletters at the same time, so that they can get indexed by the time they are opened and read by majority of your readers. This will stop your competitors from taking any seo advantage by publishing them on their websites before you do.  Send out newsletters only to your subscribers and not to all the members of your site. Nothing can be worse than spamming people with your newsletters. It is a fire shot way to destroy your brand in the shortest possible time. I get newsletters from parry marshals every week which i just delete even without opening it. My only mistake was that, at some point of making the purchase from his site i accidentally opt-in for his newsletter.

In short, your client/member doesn’t deserved to be spammed unless and until he/she opts for it. So don’t make your newsletters opt-in by default. If you still can’t resist, then at least keep an eye on the mails which are never opened. If a client is never opening your mails or never clicking on the links inside, then it is in your best business interest to automatically unsubscribe him after a particular period of inactivity before he decides to chuck you out from his shopping cart.

 

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What is the difference between Digital Analytics and Google Analytics?


99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Digital analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Digital analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Digital analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.


Digital Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Digital Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Digital analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Digital analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.


You learn data analysis and interpretation from Digital analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.


You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Digital Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Digital analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Digital analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in digital analytics and marketing field.


So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

You can sign up for the free training here: https://learn.optimizesmart.com/registration-web-class

I truly hope you find it helpful.  

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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