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Thou shalt not spam!
This is one of the commandments of email marketing. Long gone are the days of shady email marketing strategies that focus on sending unsolicited promotional messages to untargeted and unsegmented audiences.
Today, email is a permission-based marketing method that focuses on building relationships with prospects and converting them into customers once they get to know you and trust you.
You need to be aware of the existing email marketing laws and align your strategies with them. The rules on how to obtain user permission and send email marketing campaigns are strict for a reason. You need to ensure that all aspects of your email marketing efforts are candid and transparent.
Depending on your target audience, you need to get acquainted with the regulations that pertain to different countries. You don’t want to get into trouble because you didn’t pay attention to a specific rule that applies to foreign contacts. Even if your business focuses on a local customer base, you need to be careful.
In this article, we’re going to help you learn which regulations you should pay attention to and how you can optimize your email campaigns accordingly.
The effectiveness of email marketing campaigns has driven many businesses to try out various kinds of strategies. Many of them consist of creating lead nurturing email sequences and providing the best possible customer journey.
The problem is that there are still plenty of marketers that aren’t mindful of the recipients’ privacy. This has resulted in a large number of legal disputes all around the world. As an adequate response to the issue, a wide range of countries introduced regulations that aim to protect the privacy of email users.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common regulations, paying attention to specific rules and who they affect.
Email Marketing Rules
The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)
The United States
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Countries in the European Union
The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
The CAN-SPAM Act was signed into the United States law back in 2003, with the goal to suppress the countless emails that flooded inboxes with spammy messages and unsolicited pornography. Today, the act encompasses all types of promotional emails, regardless of whether they are business-to-customer or business-to-business.
The act pertains to all businesses in the United States that send promotional emails to local residents. These are the rules you have to comply with:
The information in your header has to be clear and honest. Your sender name, email address, and originating domain have to be authentic and present who you are clearly
The subject lines mustn’t attempt to deceive the recipient. While there may be a wide range of approaches when it comes to subject lines, the act states that they have to represent your email’s content accurately
The message has to be presented as an ad conspicuously. It has to be apparent from the get-go that your message promotes a product or service
The location of your business has to be included in the email. You have to provide a valid physical postal address where any party can find and contact you
The unsubscription process has to be clear. You have to explain to your recipients how they can opt out of receiving your emails in a legible and comprehensible way
The opt-out requests have to be honored as soon as possible. When a user decides they don’t want to receive your emails, you have to honor their request within 10 business days
The actions that others take on your behalf have to be monitored. If you hire a third-party organization to create email campaigns for you, both of you are responsible for every message sent
A company in the United States that violates the CAN-SPAM Act can face penalties up to $43,280 per email. Multiply that number by how many hundreds or thousands of contacts you send that email to, and you’ll understand how costly non-compliance with the regulations can be.
The GDPR is a regulation within the EU law that covers privacy and data protection. It pertains to any company that collects personal data from the residents of any country that is a part of the European Union. This means that if you’ve got European contacts in your mailing list, you have to follow the GDPR principles.
When it comes to email, there are six rules that you have to comply with:
The consent from your recipients has to be clear, informed, and unambiguous. You must never assume consent. You also have to present users with an apparent option to opt in, ensuring that they do so out of their free will
The request for consent has to be distinguishable. The part of your email where you ask for consent needs to be clear and discernible from other matters, such as general terms and conditions
The opt-outs have to be honored promptly. Your recipients can opt out whenever they decide to, and you have to remove them from your contact list
The consent of anyone under the age of 13 has to be approved by a parent. You mustn’t email children below that age unless their parent provides you with clear permission
The record of your recipients’ consent has to be stored. You have to keep clear records containing express consent from each contact
The processing of anyone’s personal data has to be based on legitimate interest. Each recipient needs to understand that you’ll be using their personal information to send them promotional content. This usually means that they provide such data publicly. The impact on the users’ privacy has to be minimal, and the benefits for your business should be clear
Similarly to the GDPR, the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation applies not only to businesses in the country, but also every other company that sends promotional messages to Canadian residents.
The rules that you have to follow are:
The consent from your recipients has to be implied or expressed. Sending emails to Canadian residents can be based on direct permission or an implication based on public information, such as the recipient’s website and social media
The request to obtain consent has to be obvious. You have to explain your intentions clearly and provide your identification and contact information.
The opt-out process has to be apparent. You have to let your contacts know that they can opt out whenever they want, and you need to provide them with a simple way to do so without charging them for it
The proof of every recipient’s consent has to be maintained. You have to keep the records of all the recipients that give you their consent to send them promotional emails
Taking these three regulations into account, let’s take a look at some of the practices that you should follow.
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All of the regulations we’ve discussed stipulate that you need to get users’ consent to send them promotional emails. The GDPR and CASL also dictate that you need to keep records of each recipient’s consent.
To get valid consent, you need to ensure that your recipients perform a clear action out of their free will. This means providing them with an unticked checkbox and a direct question about whether they want to keep receiving updates about your offers and products. A pre-ticked checkbox is a bad practice that many people tend to overlook.
To make it even more apparent, you can set up multiple yes or no checkboxes about different kinds of emails. Use short sentences and concise language to make sure that your recipients know what they are agreeing to.
Once you’ve collected the users’ consents, you need to store the records somewhere accessible. You should manage your records and keep track of your unsubscribers too—you don’t want to make the mistake of emailing them again.
If any of your contacts don’t have a record of consent, you can run a re-permission email campaign. Send them emails asking them to confirm that they want to keep receiving your promotional messages. Remove any users that don’t opt in to be on your email list.
Even if your subscription forms are direct and simple, it isn’t uncommon for people to sign up by accident. One of the ways you can solve this issue is by implementing double opt-ins. Whenever someone subscribes to your mailing list, they will receive an additional email with a confirmation link.
This method is also useful for preventing people from signing up by using:
Fake email address
Someone else’s email address
If someone wants to receive your emails, they won’t mind the additional step, and it’s an effective method for avoiding complaints and spam reports. It’s also a great solution for verifying each user’s email address.
When it comes to opting out, you need to make it as simple and accessible as possible. Every email that you send needs to have an opt-out link that is easy to spot. You also need to test your links meticulously. Broken links hinder the user experience. A broken opt-out link is as good as not including a way to unsubscribe at all—it will annoy the recipient and give them a valid reason to label your email as spam.
Your recipients need to have a simple and direct way to contact you if necessary. One of the best solutions is to include your contact details in the footer of every email that you send.
The CAN-SPAM Act specifically dictates that you need to include your physical address. This needs to be a valid postal address, such as your company’s street address or a post office box that you registered with the United States Postal Service. You can also use a private mailbox connected to a commercial mail receiving agency. In this case, you need to ensure that the agency is recognized by the Postal Service regulations.
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Contemporary email marketing campaigns focus on building relationships via lead nurturing email sequences. Even if you are emailing cold leads that haven’t opted in to receive your promotional messages yet, you can approach them properly by using email segmentation and personalization.
Sending promotional emails is more than just about following the rules while trying to sell your product or service. If you provide your recipients with valuable content based on their needs and interests, they are likely to stick around for more.
You need to create the best possible customer journey and send your contacts different types of content until they’re ready to convert into loyal customers. Even then, you should provide them with a proper mix of informational and promotional content.
We at Sell SaaS have got several solutions for you. For crafting and sending email marketing campaigns, you can use our email campaign creator. It includes the following features:
You can customize your email campaigns in the tool’s user-friendly online editor and ensure that every email includes the necessary elements for complying with different regulations. Once you’ve set up the emails, you can automate them to be sent as both:
Drip email campaigns
Trigger email campaigns
This way, you can provide your recipients with valuable content during each phase of their customer journey.
You can also use the tracking feature to determine the success of your email campaigns in terms of deliverability rates.
To improve the effectiveness of your subscription forms, you can try our:
API that prevents fake email registrations
Social proof notification widget
It’s not uncommon for people to use a fake email address for subscribing to your mailing list because they want to download a lead magnet or check out a gated piece of content.
This is an efficient method for persuading undecided users to take action. When they know that someone else has signed up for your mailing list, they might be motivated to do so themselves.
You can check out some of the other Sell SaaS products, such as our:
Our review management widget prompts your website visitors to write product reviews. It’s a handy solution for boosting credibility and increasing your sales
The email finder is one of our best lead generation tools. It enables you to look up specific prospect information based on first names, last names, and company names. Upload a list with the necessary data, and the tool will collect any associated email addresses
The collector is made for extracting crucial information from daily registered domains. It’s a handy solution for obtaining email addresses and phone numbers of potential leads
You can integrate our chatbot solution into your website easily. Set it up to answer your visitor’s questions and ask for personal information in return, such as their names and email addresses. This is an efficient method for generating leads passively
If you subscribe to any of our monthly paid plans, you get to use the tools with no restrictions. Our email campaign creator enables you to send an unlimited number of emails, and our lead generation tools don’t have a limit on how many email addresses you can extract.
If you want to create an additional stream of revenue, you can add your logo, colors, and company name to our tools and sell them at a price that you get to dictate.
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