Imagine you were hosting an exclusive private party for your family and suddenly you see a line of hawkers, and vendors gatecrash into your event and demand your attention. Even worse, they show up at your workplace and also when you are vacationing with your family.
This would be an extremely frustrating experience on the whole!
I’m referring to marketers who gatecrash into your inbox in a similar way and expect your mind space. They are also called email spammers. This annoying experience is uniform across nations and hence, respective governments acknowledged this behaviour and created national laws to regulate spamming.
As a b2b marketer, it is imperative to know this law before hitting the ‘SEND’ button.
Different SPAM regulations by different countries
Globally, there are a few resemblances among the SPAM regulations across different nations. While some have very specific details and stringent fines, some have relatively more generic laws. Here is a summary of it.
All these companies that have responded to unruly email etiquette with their laws strongly condemn sending emails to people who have not been permitted to send emails or even worse, if the sender has not sought permission.
The intent and summary of the message have to be uniform across all touchpoints such as email label, subject line, headline and body. A marketer can be penalized subject to messaging discrepancies.
The recipient should be able to clearly and easily identify who you are, looking at the email. The sender should explicitly state that the user can unsubscribe to the email at any point in time. Any non-allowance towards unsubscription or hidden text would be penalized.
It is difficult for you to read through each email law and implement it, especially if you are a company dealing with a global audience. To keep that easy, we ha created a table for your quick reference.
|Your email program should include these||USA||Canada||UK||Australia||Germany||France||Italy|
|Opt-out or Unsubscribe||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Identification of Sender||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sender’s contact information||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Simplified Finance data model||–||–||Yes||–||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Consent or Permission of receiver||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Proof of Permission||–||Yes||–||–||Yes||–||–|
Towards the end of this article, we have listed links to websites that cover the law related to the country’s e-mail and communication systems. You can access the respective country’s details from the list.
How to comply with them?
With all these laws, here is a summary we have put together, that will help you comply with most email regulations.
1. Seek Permission:
Before sending out an email, ensure that you have sought and received permission from the sender to share information through that email. If the person has not reverted or expressed no interest, do not send emails to them. Add them to a separate list.
2. Allow Opt-out:
State explicitly how your email receiver can Unsubscribe to the email that he/she has opted-in for. Apart from explaining the process, you should also provide an apparent way for the user to opt out.
3. Label your Email:
All your emails should be labelled. The person receiving it should be able to identify the intent and purpose of the email, just by viewing the label. Some labels recommended are advertisements, newsletters, promotional offers, and so on.
4. Don’t mislead:
Your title, subject line and content of the email should be cohesive and not misleading. Any misleading headlines or subject lines that are reported will be subject to penalty.
5. Repurposing & Frequency of email:
If you have gathered consent of a list of subscribers for your email, for a specific purpose, ensure that you conform to the interest. Do not use this list for any different announcements or communication. The CAN-SPAM law says it is unlawful “for the sender or any other person who knows that the recipient has made such a [opt-out] request, to sell, lease, exchange or otherwise transfer or release the electronic mail address of the recipient for any purpose other than compliance with this Act or other provision of the law.”
6. Allow them to Respond:
Add your email and contact information to the email. It is most preferred to be mentioned in the footer of the email. This will help the receiver find your contact information, in case they wish to connect with you.
7. Take complete ownership:
Even if you are using a 3rd party tool or agency, it will directly affect you while sending out an email. Hence, ensure that you are compliant while sending out emails even when you are using third-party tools.