There is a good chance that you receive non CAN-SPAM compliant emails every single day. We receive dozens of unsolicited spam emails every day that are all in clear violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. Your business could be hit with some serious fines if you are sending emails that aren’t compliant. We wanted to discuss several possible ways your email marketing is in violation of CAN-SPAM without your knowledge.

Make Sure Your Email Marketing is CAN-SPAM Compliant

Not Properly Identifying Who is Sending the Email

Your recipients need to know whom the email is coming from. When they open their email and look at their inbox they should be able to immediately identify who the email is coming from. Have you ever received a spam email that has inconsistencies throughout it? Sometimes the name of the sender and the email address don’t match, and this just throws up a major red flag. Look at the screenshot below. This is how our free weekly online marketing newsletter appears in our recipients email inbox. It is 100% clear that the email is coming from us.

Not Properly Identifying Who is Sending the Email

Not Including Your Physical Address

This is something that many businesses leave out. Every business should have a physical location address, which needs to be included in the email. These days, most email marketing platforms allow you to edit your template to include your address in the footer. Looking below you will see that our address is automatically included in every email that we send out to our subscribers.

Not Including Your Physical Address

Not Including an Unsubscribe Option

Take a look at all of the commercial emails in your inbox. They should all have an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the message. If not they are no CAN-SPAM compliant. Again, most email marketing platforms automatically include an unsubscribe option at the bottom, but if you are manually building an email list and marketing to it you must include an option to unsubscribe at the bottom.

We use mailchimp for our email marketing, and they automatically include a one-click unsubscribe option at the bottom (see below for an example) of each email message. If you aren’t giving your recipients this option you are violating CAN-SPAM.

Not Including an Unsubscribe Option

Not Honoring Opt-Out Requests

Ever received an email with something at the bottom along the lines of, “to stop receiving these emails reply with ‘remove’ in the subject line”? We get them all the time, and know what we also get? More emails from them, even after we ask to be removed. You have to honor opt-out requests, and it needs to be done right away.

This is just another reason that you should be using a trusted email platform to manage your email marketing lists. When the recipient clicks the “unsubscribe” link it is automatically handled for you. If you are going it manually make sure to stay on top of it, and honor removal requests immediately.

Outsourcing Your Email Marketing

Did you know that you are still responsible for your email marketing even if you are outsourcing it to an agency? Many companies will hire a cheap outsource option to save money, but at what potential cost? What if the company is sending out spam emails that violate the CAN-SPAM Act? It could end up costing your business a lot more in the long run. If you are going to outsource it make sure you only work with a reputable agency that follows CAN-SPAM compliant email marketing practices.

Not Using Accurate Subject Lines

Not only does your recipient need to know whom the email is coming from, but also they need to know what the email message contains. In the example below you will see that our newsletter this week featured the email subject line of, “Blogging, Infographic and PPC tips = more revenue for your business,” which describes what the newsletter topics included. Our recipients know exactly what they are opening, in addition to knowing whom it came from.

Not Using Accurate Subject Lines

Make sure that your email marketing is CAN-SPAM complaint to avoid any potential problems. Using a platform such as mailchimp or aweber will help to ensure that you are using CAN-SPAM compliant email practices.

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers (we are just great at online marketing) and we do not provide legal advice. This blog post contained some legal information, which is not the same as legal advice. Please consult a lawyer if you want professional help, and to verify that this information is correct. This blog post is for entertainment purposes only, and is not legal advice of any kind. Consult with us if you want the best online marketing. Consult with a lawyer if you want legal advice.