Today’s post is contributed by guest blogger Samantha Martin of Privacy Policies.
We know email marketing is a strong tool for affiliate marketers. It can bring in significant revenue, and it’s an important tool for nurturing customer relationships. But if it’s done wrong, a helpful tool becomes worthless spam.
Everyone hates spam, but it just keeps coming. That’s why the U.S. Congress took action in 2003 to try and cut down the volumes of unsolicited junk email by passing the CAN-SPAM Act.
In an homage to the canned meat that bore the name, CAN-SPAM is an acronym that stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. Even though this law has been around for more than a decade, without understanding what CAN-SPAM means in practice, even well-intentioned companies can get into trouble.
The Affiliate Marketer’s Guide to CAN-SPAM Compliance is an infographic to guide you through the complexities of CAN-SPAM. If you want to send marketing missives without falling into hefty fines, follow these rules diligently.
Even if you are familiar with the law, you may have some gaps in your knowledge of the CAN-SPAM requirements. There are numerous intricacies to consider when sending out marketing messages. Some of them are common sense. But others revolve around ensuring compliance to specific requirements, which can sometimes be confusing and easy to transgress.
The penalties for violating the CAN-SPAM act can be very severe and there are provisions within the act that include punishing aggravated violations with additional fines and even the threat of imprisonment. The subject line of your message must be accurate and you must identify the message as an advert. You also must tell the recipient exactly how they can opt out and exactly who the message is from. Remember, these rules count for all promotional emails, even B2B marketing.
If there is any aspect that is wrong and a customer complains, you can face fines of up to $16,000 for each offending email sent. If you have 1,000 people on a list, that could be a penalty of $16,000,000.
You have been warned.