Small Step against SPAMkind
2004 introduced a unified anti-spam legislation in the United
States. Bill S.877 more affectionately known as the CAN-SPAM
Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography
and Marketing) was signed in December of 2003 in an effort
to curb the rate of unsolicited emails. The Act acknowledges
many of the inconveniences that unsolicited email poses
to business and the private sector. It has been praised
for setting out important guidelines, yet criticized for
placing the responsibility to opt-out on the recipient.
marketers using email as a medium, this act affects us all.
UpOnline clients will recognize that aside from some minor
adjustments, their campaigns fit well within the guidelines
set forth by the CAN-SPAM Act.
What do the
new rules require of you as a responsible eMarketer?
information and “subject lines” cannot be false
or misleading. This is a good practice to begin
with. Recipients of your emails are often your best leads.
Whether you are trying to get an accurate read regarding
the interest in your product or service, attempting to generate
sales leads or simply keep clients/readers/fans in the loop,
it is always wise to accurately let people know what they
are opening and where it’s coming from. It is also
essential in the relationship that you are building with
your recipients to be straightforward and trustworthy…it
just makes good business sense.
transmissions need a return email address where comments,
complaints, praise or any form of response for that matter
can be addressed. This address must be active for
at least 30 days from the sending of the email. Using any
responsible eMarketing firm will require you to post a return
address, but if your “trying it on your own”
make sure to create an info@ or comments@ that you accept
replies from your eMarketing emails. You could always use
your own email address, but it is often to your benefit
to have a separate account even if just for organizational
purposes. For simplicity, UpOnline has a mechanism to handle
abuse complaints, as well as offering recipients other avenues
to protect their rights.
commercial electronic mail must include a means to opt-out,
as well as a physical address. There must be an
identifiable and legitimate means for a recipient to announce
that they no longer wish to receive email communication
from you. Many consumers have a familiar fear of clicking
on an opt-out link, as unethical spam distributors have
been known to simply use the click thru to validate a live
email address. This fear has to be dispelled by responsible
eMarketers to rebuild a trust with their target markets.
address requirement is interesting. The sender of the unsolicited
email has to include a physical address in the email (P.O.
boxes seem to be a grey area). UpOnline requires that all
campaigns sent through our system have a physical address.
Email and the internet can make a sender seem ambiguous
and distant. When sending responsible and quality messages
it only makes sense that you would want to be seen as an
entity that exists outside of the web. You’ll notice
that UpOnline mail outs also include a phone number, and
why not, we love to hear from you, good or bad.
recipient who has “expressed objection” cannot
be solicited again by the sender. Once someone
has opted out, the sender and all senders acting on their
behalf have 10 days to honour the request. UpOnline’s
list management separates unsubscribers immediately, removing
the arduent task of sifting through a list to remove unsubscribers
manually. This is especially important if lists are used
in cross-promotions. List members must not have opted out
from any of the participants in the promotion; this can
get extremely complicated with larger lists and multiple
parties are involved.
These are the
areas that are of immediately importance, but there are
still details that will take some time to sort out. To read
the actual act in it entirety, simply search for CANSPAM
through any search engine. Countless article and interpretations
are circulating, but at least there is now a concrete start
to cleaning up inboxes in The United States.
just starting out or exploring new territory, it’s
always wise to learn the laws of the land. eMarketing is
no exception to this rule. Take the time to read the CANSPAM
ACT as well as PIPEDA and you’ll have most of North
America covered. If you’re still unclear, there are
several respectable eMarketing firm that can help shed some
light, I know we here at UpOnline would be happy to hear
Speak to you
crew at UpOnline