Most people are cautious about receiving unsolicited emails and because that there are laws you need to abide by as an email sender, and they are serious.
You may have to pay fines, have your email account deactivated, or even face serious charges in a court of law.
But, how do you avoid this?
That is why you have this article. Here, you will learn about anti-spam laws in email marketing.
What are anti-spam laws?
Anti-spam laws are (CAN-SPAM Acts) regulations designed to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited emails.
Any business organization that often sends transactional or commercial emails is required to abide by these laws.
On most occasions, the laws vary based on where you live. As a marketer or sales rep, you are expected to familiarize yourself with the anti-spam laws within your market and area before sending cold emails to your audience.
For instance, the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) in the United States protects consumers from a handful of these laws.
In 2018, the European Union enacted the General Data Protection Regulation to protect consumers by creating new standards for data privacy.
A violation of these laws often attracts severe penalties for the business. Due to this, email service providers (ESPs) are expected to comply with the laws to avoid such penalties.
What do international requirements for anti-spam laws entail for commercial email?
The international requirements for anti-spam laws consist of regulations that protect consumers from receiving unsolicited emails. The regulations vary among countries.
For instance, the United States's anti-spam law (CAN-SPAM) doesn't require opt-ins for businesses to get emails to consumers.
However, countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada require customers’ consent from companies before sending out emails.
As a result, businesses need to familiarize themselves with the laws of the country to avoid violating the anti-spam laws.
Anti-spam laws by country
Other countries have laws similar to the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act. You'll have to follow international law if you market to other countries from the U.S. — otherwise, you may get fined or jailed (or both).
Here are the international anti spam act passed.
Does Canada have anti-spam laws?
Yes. Canada's anti spam legislation laws (CASL) protect her citizens when receiving a commercial email messages (CEM). Here are some of the regulations guiding email marketing.
Before a company sends emails to its consumers, they are expected to obtain consent from its consumers.
Businesses are required to allow customers to unsubscribe from messages when needed. This is a most whether you're in B2B or B2C.
Violation of these rules can attract a fine of $1m (per violation) for individuals and $10m (per violation) for companies.
Does the U.K have anti-spam laws?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is Europe's version of the CAN-SPAM Act. All member states of the European Union are subject to this law.
Seven principles underpin the UK GDPR:
Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
Integrity and confidentiality
So, yes. The United Kingdom has anti-spam laws that prevent the sending of unsolicited marketing emails to consumers.
This restriction doesn't only affect individuals but also sole traders and partners as they are treated as individuals according to the law.
Some of the laws include:
Businesses need to request the consent of their consumers beforehand.
Businesses must have opt-out clauses when sending emails to consumers.
In 2018, the laws were further improved under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If there is any breach of these rules under the Privacy and Electronic Commission (PERC) 2003, here are the consequences.
The email service provider will face hefty fines of up to £5000.
The GDPR can impose fines of about 20 million euros or 4% of the business's annual income.
Does Australia have anti-spam laws?
The Spam Act (2003) oversees the regulation of marketing emails or messages within Australia.
Here are some of the regulation overseeing email marketing:
Businesses must receive consent from their customers and send commercial messages that fall within the Act.
They must also include an unsubscribe button to give customers the freedom to opt out when they like.
Violation of this act can result in severe penalties where violators will pay $400 per email that do not comply with the act.
3 tips to consider to align with email anti-spam laws
Avoid upsetting customers or facing penalties by following these tips.
1 - Ensure every email has an unsubscribe button
Irrespective of your location, always ensure your emails have an easy opt-out button. Have a section of the organization (marketing, customer service, or other section) handle this process.
If you offer multiple subscriptions, ensure you inform your audience on how they can manage the subscriptions. An "unsubscribe from all emails" should be available to your subscribers.
2 - Don't buy email lists
Buying an email list seems like an easy option. If you spend money to get hundreds of cold contacts you can market to while setting up an email marketing campaign, its consequences are severe.
Purchasing hundreds of cold contacts may result in high unsubscribe rates, bounce rates, low sales, and even spam complaints. In fact, you could have your email account deactivated by your email service provider.
3 - Be honest with your emails
Earning trust is essential, especially when you want to build a list of loyal customers. Transparent email services aren't only necessary to get sales, but also necessary for anti-spam compliance.
Ensure your emails aren't dishonest or misleading to your audience. A great way to do this is to have an authentic brand voice and remain consistent with your tone.
Receiving unwanted spam emails is what most people are cautious about. CAN-Spam laws protect consumers from receiving any unsolicited commercial email from businesses. When it comes to US, you may also need to consider state anti spam laws as state laws may be different from federal laws.
Depending on your location, you have to familiarize yourself with the anti-spam laws to prevent violations. Also, make it a general rule to always include an unsubscribe link into corporate email messages or any commercial advertisement emails.
Request consent before you send any electronic mail message and include an unsubscribe button or an opt out request link for consumers to opt out when they no longer want your emails.