Those familiar with marketing automation are likely already familiar with CAN-SPAM laws and regulations. If you or your organization sends CEM, you're required to follow these rules, but did you know that they can also directly impact your deliverability? This article outlines the main requirements of the law.
There are seven requirements that must be met before you send an email message.
NOTE: Click to read the FTC's CAN-SPAM Act regulations.
- You must use accurate routing information (such as the "From," "To," and "Reply-To" fields) that correctly identifies the person or business who is sending the message.
- Subject lines must accurately reflect the content of the message (e.g., if you use the subject line "Free Kittens," your message cannot be about promoting registrations for an upcoming event).
- If your message is an advertisement, you must clearly label it as one.
- The message must contain your business's valid physical address.
- You must provide a clear, fast, and easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from future messages. Recipients should only be required to enter their email address or reply to an email (they should not be required to log into a site or take any additional steps other than visiting a single page to enter their email address). Additionally, it may be wise to have a separate opt-out link to allow recipients to choose their preferences as to what type of mail they want to receive.
- All unsubscribe requests must be processed within ten days. The unsubscribe mechanism has to remain available for 30 days after the message has been sent. Once recipients have unsubscribed, you cannot sell or transfer their addresses in any manner. The only exception is that if you are using a new system, you may need to transfer the unsubscribed addresses in order to honor previous requests to be suppressed.
- Be sure that all third parties handling your email marketing are also abiding by these laws. If you contract other people or businesses to handle your email marketing, they must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Communications Professional offers a transactional module for this type of correspondence where unsubscribed email addresses are not suppressed. However, there are specific guidelines that must be followed in order to maintain compliance. Remember, it is a best practice to include an unsubscribe link in these types of messages to deter anyone from classifying your email as spam, which is more harmful to your sender reputation than having someone unsubscribe.
More information about transactional messages:
- Communications Professional
- For Marketing Automation Enterprise, see Transactional Templates & Messages
- U.S. Federal Trade Commission site
How Higher Logic can help
- Unsubscribers outside of Communications Professional or Communications Enterprise can be uploaded into their associated database to ensure they're being suppressed.
- Add a physical address in your automation email templates.
- There are many unsubscribe options to choose from that provide a fast, simple way for recipients to unsubscribe from future messages.
- You can create default/custom "From," "Friendly From," and "Reply-To" addresses to reflect the proper routing info.
- With Communications Professional, the "List-unsubscribe" header is used for all mail being sent. This allows mail receivers to add their own unsubscribe function to their user interface, making the process even faster and easier for the recipients.