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In an era when consumers are bombarded with marketing messages from their TVs, the Internet, mobile devices, IOT devices, and numerous other channels, companies want to take advantage of every opportunity to deliver its message to the market. However, businesses must always stay on top of how they are using those channels both from a brand image and compliance standpoint.

The risks of harming a company’s brand image with inconsistent messaging or other issues can be a challenge for any marketing team, partly because there aren’t always set ‘rules’ for maintaining the chosen brand image. From a compliance standpoint, the ‘rules’ are at often more clear cut. While different marketing channels come under the purview of various laws and regulations at the Federal and State levels, one of the most straightforward set of rules focuses on email marketing – the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

The most important aspects of the CAN-SPAM Act are fairly specific and unambiguous – which makes compliance efforts fairly straightforward.

Some of the key aspects (but not all) of the CAN-SPAM Act include:

– Don’t use false or misleading header information (From, To, and other routing info)
– Identify the message as an advertisement
– Don’t use a “deceptive” subject line
– Provide a mechanism for recipients to opt-out of future mailings

Just as important as setting up the rules, penalties are also spelled out for those marketers that aren’t compliant. The regulation states that companies will be fined $16,000 per email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act (and no lawsuit brought on by the FTC for non-compliance has been settled for less than $1,000,000).

If companies needed any added incentive to follow the rules in their email marketing programs, these types of financial penalties make non-compliance a non-starter. Companies can avoid unnecessary risk by utilizing a suppression list management platform (like OPTIZMO™) to ensure that the company, its affiliate partners, and all campaign offers are compliant with government requirements.

Don’t leave compliance to chance.

By Tom Wozniak – Executive Director of Marketing