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Episode Details

Episode #



December 2, 2021


16 minutes

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Keeping Your Email Marketing Legit

As long as there is email marketing, there will be spam. That’s a fact of life. So caring about doing email marketing the right way matters. Let’s dive into why and how to keep your email marketing efforts legitimate, and what that even means.

3 reasons to should care about email legitimacy

  • Legality: don’t get sued
  • Deliverability: Email inboxes are more limiting.
  • User experience: build customer loyalty

CAN-SPAM is the main legislation for email marketing in the United States. It stands for The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act in 2003.

Fair warning, there are a bunch of acronyms in this episode.

7 things to know about CAN-SPAM.

  • No misleading info in the header. (From, to, reply to)
  • No deceptive subject lines.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located. Usually in the footer.
  • Let people opt-out. Honor the opt-out promptly (within 10 days).
  • Identify unsolicited emails as an ad. (Lots of loopholes)
  • Don’t scrape emails. Can still buy lists.
  • Monitor what others (eg. marketing agencies) are doing for you. Still liable.

Where does CAN-SPAM fall short?

CAN-SPAM is a joke because it means businesses can spam people.

  • Too many loopholes. Doesn’t actually ban spam.
  • You don’t have to get permission to email someone.
  • People can’t sue you for getting spammed.
  • Too hard to enforce.
  • Overrules state legislation, which could do more to limit spam.

There are two other pieces of legislation you should be aware of: GDPR and CCPA.

  • GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • This went into effect in 2018 for the European Union.
  • CCPA is California Consumer Privacy Act effective in 2020.
  • It’s similar to GDPR, but limited due to CAN-SPAM.
  • This gives consumers more control over their data, but only in certain instances.

Reasons to be ethical, not just legal.

  • Don’t send email ‘blasts’ people. Use different termoniology: campaign, send, etc.
  • Use a legit email platform like Mailchimp or Active Campagin.
  • Test for email spamminess, like Mail Tester.
  • Don’t buy lists. Get permission before emailing.
  • Send relevant content that people care about. Test out what gets responses.
  • Watch your churn rate (% of sends who: unsubscribes + bounces + marked as spam)