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Email is the strongest tool in your digital marketing arsenal, but it’s no good if you don’t actually reach and engage your audience.
In this post, we’ll run through the different laws governing email marketing, how to avoid spam filters, and the perfect tool to get you started.
Depending on where your business is based, and where your customers are from, different rules will apply.
The two main laws you’ll come into contact with are:
These laws were instituted to protect customers from receiving unsolicited emails and inappropriate communication attempts.
While most email spam is not illegal, depending on the content, the context, and the country, sending bulk emails might get you into trouble.
Let’s take a closer look at the different laws you’ll encounter.
The anti-spam law that affects businesses in the US is called the CAN-SPAM Act.
Passed in 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act applies to all commercial emails, not just those sent in bulk.
Non-compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act can be expensive — you could be fined up to $43,792 per email.
This legislation includes rules that govern your email marketing:
While transactional emails don’t necessarily fall under the CAN-SPAM Act, they still may not include any false or misleading content.
The main anti-spam legislation that affects Europe is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has been in effect since May 2018.
It’s one of the toughest sets of laws around, regulating the protection and privacy of all personal data, not just email marketing and spam.
Infringing on this data protection act could see you fined up to 20 million euros (that’s roughly $22,5 million).
Here are the 7 GDPR principles:
1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency — Clear and accurate communication so that your contacts understand what they’re opting-in for
2. Purpose limitation — Personal data may only be used for what it was collected for initially
3. Data minimization — Data may only be collected for and limited to a specific purpose, and not hoarded
4. Accuracy — Inaccurate data must be updated by the organization responsible for it
5. Storage limitation — Data may only be retained long enough to serve its specific purpose, not indefinitely
6. Integrity and confidentiality — Appropriate security measures to protect personal data must be applied and are the responsibility of the organization collecting it
7. Accountability — Organizations are accountable for the data they handle and for their compliance with the previous 6 principles
This will affect your email marketing in the following ways:
Data protection goes beyond just marketing, so make sure that your business as a whole is compliant with the GDPR.
If you’re aiming to reach an international audience, there are additional laws you’ll need to comply with.
Here’s a list of other data protection and anti-spam laws that might affect your business:
To find the anti-spam and email marketing regulations that apply to your business, look up the rules of the country you’re based in and where your audience is from.
It might seem like there are a lot of legal requirements to navigate, but these email marketing rules are there to protect you too.
Email addresses aren’t just contact details, they’ve become part of our official identity because of the online world.
People use their email address to:
Businesses lose $20.5 billion a year because of email spam, while individuals suffer even more.
Email marketing laws like the CAN-SPAM Act also govern the following common spam components:
These laws protect personally-identifiable information and prevent our inboxes from being clogged with unsolicited emails.
If you want to continue to reach your audience, you’ll have to follow the rules or suffer severe consequences.
Staying out of the spam folder shouldn’t be a daily struggle for you and your business.
That’s why we’ve set up this list of 10 tips to keep your email campaigns 100% compliant and how to implement them today:
Using an opt-in form is an easy way of getting your contact’s consent to send them marketing emails.
Choose either a single or double opt-in process to get your audience to confirm that they want you to send them your content.
You can do this by creating opt-in boxes with a confirmation link on your landing pages.
The different kinds of opt-in forms available on systeme.io
With a tool like systeme.io, creating opt-in opportunities is a simple process.
Once you’ve named your page and selected your opt-in type, you can choose from one of our templates or build your own.
When building your opt-in form, remember these:
Your contacts can then make an informed decision on whether or not they want to receive marketing communications from you.
Where or who your email is from should represent your company and be accurate.
This means that you’ll need to include the following in your emails:
Setting this up with your email marketing service is pretty straightforward.
systeme.io’s email header set-up
When you’re creating your newsletter or campaign with systeme.io, simply fill in your details in the relevant blocks — it’ll automatically appear on all of your marketing emails.
By providing clear and accurate contact information to your email recipients, you’ll keep your commercial messages compliant.
Misleading header information and deceptive email addresses will get you into trouble.
Your subject line is the first thing your email recipients see, so you need to make sure it stands out.
Any email marketing efforts will be wasted if all your messages go straight to spam.
Here’s how to keep your subject line on par with spam laws:
You can also use your subject line to follow spam laws by presenting what you send as a commercial email.
According to spam laws, all commercial email messages must identify themselves as advertising.
Make it clear that your email is an advertisement by:
Deceptively presenting your emails as recommendations or personal emails in a private inbox breaks anti-spam laws.
Another requirement of the data protection and spam laws is that businesses must share their physical address in their marketing emails.
This can take one of the following forms:
Not only does this keep you compliant, but it also confirms that you’re a legitimate business.
When creating forms for opting-in, ensure that opting-out is also an option.
If someone no longer wishes to receive your marketing emails, they need to be able to easily unsubscribe from your email list.
Explain to your contacts how they can achieve this.
Depending on the tool you use, you won’t have to put in much effort here.
systeme.io’s email unsubscribe link
With a tool like systeme.io, you can quickly set up an opt-out mechanism in the footer of your emails so that it appears across your email marketing campaign.
Telling contacts how to leave your email list may seem counterproductive to your business growth, but it’s an important legal requirement.
Once you’ve received an email recipient’s opt-out request, you have to honor it.
If you receive unsubscribe requests and don’t honor them, anything you send there after will count as an unsolicited email.
Once your contacts have gone through the unsubscribe process, you’ll have to remove them from your email list.
Some email marketing service providers have marketing automation set up to process opt-out requests for you.
There are 2 things you must do when following up on unsubscribe requests:
If your platform doesn’t have one, you should consider building your own marketing automation process that completes this for you.
Make this page easily accessible from your website’s landing page and include all relevant information.
If you’re using a website builder like systeme.io, setting this up is a super simple process:
1. Select your website or sales funnel and create an information page.
Systeme.io’s sales funnel builder
If your data security practices are compliant, clearly explained, and easy to access, your audience should have little trouble trusting you with their information.
If you run a business that’s grown or scaled recently, you’ve probably hired or outsourced some elements of your email marketing strategy.
Whether you have an email marketer or an entire agency looking after that aspect of your business, you’re still responsible for how your email is handled.
That means you’ll need to monitor the following activities:
Remember, once you have someone’s contact details and personal information, you need to keep it safe.
Spam laws don’t apply to just your commercial email messages.
While these laws are applied to a different degree here, you’ll also need to ensure the following emails are compliant:
It might seem like a lot of rules to follow, but they’ll save you from trouble later.
The specific consequences of non-compliance differ based on what laws were affected, which rules were broken, and how many emails were involved.
However, here’s a list of the different repercussions you might face for sending spam:
If the violation goes beyond spam and into data security, the ramifications are more severe.
The best way to avoid infringing on these laws is to follow the rules and partner with a secure and trustworthy platform.
With a tool like systeme.io by your side, compliant email marketing is easy-to-do.
Here are some of the powerful email features you’ll have at your disposal:
On top of this, you’ll get tools to run your website, online sales, membership sites, e-learning offers, and more.
Functionality like this is worth its weight in gold — luckily, it won’t cost you that with systeme.io!
There are 4 pricing plans to choose from, including a 100% free option.
Systeme.io’s pricing options
If you sign up for our Freemium plan, you get access to:
The list goes on!
Do yourself a favor, and choose a platform that makes it easy to stay compliant with any future emails you send.
Now that you know what the email marketing laws are and how to follow them, you’re all set to build compliant email campaigns.
Choosing systeme.io as your email marketing platform is a no-brainer — it has everything you need to run your online business.
Other posts about email marketing:
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© systeme.io. All rights reserved.