A few days ago we posted an article about how to use Ezines to showcase your expertise, build your list and market your company. That article was called E-Power is Back! EZINES ~ The GREAT EZine Advantage. This article will help you “plan” how to “deliver” your ezine and stay compliant with your readers and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission in the U.S.)
Basic Rules that will keep you compliant with the CAN-SPAM act (and with your readers):
1. Honestly Identify Yourself – Your email ‘to,’ ‘from,’ and ‘reply-to’ fields must accurately define who you are and provide your valid email address.
2. Keep Your Subject Line Honest – If your email is an advertisement, it must be identified as one.
3. List Your Physical Address – Your business’ physical mailing address must be provided on all commercial emails. (Registered Post Office boxes and private mail boxes are also acceptable.)
4. Allow Your Recipients a Way to Opt-Out – There must be easy to find directions instructing your recipients on how they can be removed from your distribution list.
5. Honor Unsubscribe Requests – If a person requests to unsubscribe from your email marketing campaign, you have 10 days to remove their email address from your distribution list. You may not attempt to contact them again from another email address after they have opted out.
6. List Privacy – When a person chooses to unsubscribe from your email campaign, you cannot sell and/or give their email information to a third party.
The most common result of violating these policies is that your email account will be blacklisted. This means that your email recipients have selected to ‘block sender’ or ‘report as spam’ from their inboxes. If you are blacklisted from enough peoples’ inboxes, the internet service providers will begin to block your emails, and even to those who WANT to receive them won’t be able to.
A worst case scenario would be that the Federal Trade Commission (or some other federal or state agency) will intervene. If this happens, your fines can become high enough to bankrupt your business, or even lead to imprisonment.
There are easy-to-read and understand facts about the CAN-SPAM act on the Federal Trade Commission’s website at FTC.Gov