An overview of spam rules for B2B marketers
MangoLeads takes spam issues very seriously. Our stated goal is to modernize the email marketing industry and, as such, we take a stance against individuals and organizations who violate anti-spam laws.
Overview of CAN-SPAM
In 2003, Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act, a federal law that defines and regulates the sending of unsolicited commercial email. This law became effective on January 1, 2004.
CAN-SPAM does not prohibit the sending of unsolicited email for commercial purposes. It simply requires that companies immediately honor any and all opt out requests from email recipients. CAN-SPAM also provides us with a simple to follow 8-point compliance checklist:
8-point compliance checklist
- Don't use false or misleading header information - your FROM, REPLY-TO, and domain information must be legitimate and actually identify the real sender of the message (sections 4(a), 5(a)(1), and 6).
- Don't use misleading subject lines - this is self-explanatory, and rarely an issue for B2B marketers (section 5(a)(1) and 5(a)(2)).
- Tell recipients where you are located - all emails must contain your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you've registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you've registered (section 5(a)(3) and 5(a)(5)(A)(iii)).
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you - include a clear and conspicuous unsubscribe mechanism in every email (section 5(a)(5)(A)(ii)).
- Identify the message as an advertisement/solicitation - the law does not state how or where this identification must be made, and thus provides a lot of leeway. This rarely a problem for B2B marketers, as our messages to prospects would be difficult to confuse with anything other than a commercial message. (section 5(a)(5)(A)(i)).
- Process opt-out requests promptly and honor them - opt-out requests must be processed within 10 business days and must be maintained permanently. Senders can't charge a fee to process an opt-out, can't require the recipient to give any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request (section 5(a)(4)).
- Don't sell or share email addresses of people who have unsubscribed - emails from recipients who have opted out may not be provided to any other entity seeking to send that party email (section 5(a)(4)).
- Offer recipients a way to receive some types of email from you while blocking others, along with a global unsubscribe option to stop all future email from your organization. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. (section 5(a)(3)(B))
MangoLeads cannot offer any legal advice. Luckily, there are fantastic resources online to refer to:
- Direct link to CAN-SPAM guidelines
- The FTC's official CAN-SPAM Compliance Guide for Business
- True Influence - CAN-SPAM for B2B Marketers: the Opt-In Misunderstanding (8-point checklist)
- Harvard Business Review - B2Bs: Your Email Policy Could Be Hurting You
On behalf of the team we ask you to take the time to understand the laws in your country. We hope this helps!
- The team at MangoLeads