Spam & privacy laws change from time to time. As such, we recommend doing your own research and / or seeking advice from a legal professional in your region.
Email Marketing Laws
Each country tends to have their own laws around the commercial use of email marketing - and each set of laws tend to have different requirements for email marketers. Here’s a few of the most common:
- USA: CAN-SPAM Act
- Canada: Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation
- Australia: Spam Act 2003
- United Kingdom: Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations of 2003
- GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation
These laws are in place to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited emails, also known as spam. Email marketers must comply with these laws and it’s worth noting they carry significant fines if broken.
But don’t let this scare you off email marketing! If you’re a legitimate business, your contacts are opted-in and you use a credible email marketing service provider (like us!), you’re probably already following the rules.
How To Ensure Spam Compliance
If your business uses any form of electronic marketing, including email, SMS (text message), MMS (image-based text messages) or instant messaging, you must understand and meet the following requirements.
Permission based marketing is the cornerstone of most spam laws. You must receive permission from people to send them emails. There's two types of permission:
- Express permission - this means someone has specifically given your permission to email them. For example, they may have subscribed via a form on your website or given you their email address during the purchase process.
- Implied or inferred permission - this is a slightly 'greyer' area and covers anyone who you have an existing business relationship with. For example a current customer or donor.
You must always identify who the email is from. To do this, you must include your contact information (including your business address) inside every promotional email that you send.
This can be either a mailing address or PO Box where you can receive mail, but it can't be a website or email address. By providing this information you will build a level of trust with your customers.
It is imperative to give people an easy opt out. Your email must contain a functional ‘unsubscribe’ facility to allow the recipient to opt out from receiving messages from that source in the future. Our system will automatically add an unsubscribe link to the bottom of your emails.
Include Accurate Header Information
Header information includes your From name, subject line and reply-to address. This information must not be misleading.
Disclose That Your Email Is an Advertisement
There’s a fair bit of flexibility around this requirement, and its main purpose is to prevent businesses deceiving their subscribers into believing the email is from a person (rather than a brand or company).
How We Help With Spam Compliance
We provide a range of features that give peace of mind when it comes to your legal requirements with spam. Our system has a number of features that help ensure you’re compliant.
Our platform provides various tools to help you collect expressed permission;
- Forms to help you capture and record expressed consent from your subscribers.
- Automation for double opt in processes, which is best practice on the matter of gaining permission.
Any email created in our platform will automatically contain your company name and address by default. So there’s no need for you to include additional identification details (unless you want to of course).
And finally, we include an automated unsubscribe facility by default in all of your email messages.
A deleted contact won't be able to unsubscribe from your list - so ensure you allow sufficient time for your contact(s) to unsubscribe. We recommend keeping lists, or keeping contacts on a list, for at least 30 days after sending them an email or SMS - which is in line with Australian anti-spam laws.
Need some further tips & information to make the most of your email sends?