When designing your email template, there are legal issues (mostly regarding CAN-SPAM compliance) that you'll need to be sure to incorporate into your email design. They may be simple and easy-to-do, but overlooking them could inadvertently result in CAN-SPAM violations and huge fines for your company. In this section, we'll take a brief moment to highlight and point out the email legal requirements that you must incorporate into your email template design.
Company Physical Mailing Address
The Email Legal Requirements: CAN-SPAM requires that your email template include a physical, postal mailing address where your subscribers can reach you (a phone number is not required). You can use either a physical street address or a postal box, but subscribers must have a way that they can send you registered, tracked, hard-copy mail via the postal system.
Incorporating The Email Legal Requirements: The common way to meet this requirement is to put your address in the footer of your email template. Don't bury it in a hard-to-read or incredibly small font. Subscribers and users will typically scroll to the bottom of the email to look for contact information. By putting your physical mailing address in the bottom footer of your email template, you're providing the required information in a location where subscribers would know to go look for it. You are also not taking up valuable real estate elsewhere in your email template.
Unsubscribe Request Information
The Email Legal Requirements: Your email template must include a way for your users to unsubscribe from your email list either by simply sending a reply email or by clicking no more than one level deep to reach a page from which they can unsubscribe. The method that you use is entirely up to you. However, the law requires that the information be easy and clear for a subscriber to find. It also requires that it be simple for them to accomplish the process of unsubscribing.
Incorporating The Email Legal Requirements: The most common place to find information on where to unsubscribe from an email is in the footer of the email. Again, you'll be providing the required information in a place where users know to look for it and while not taking up valuable real estate in your email template. However, in certain circumstances, it may be advisable to consider putting the information about how to unsubscribe from your email product at the top of your email. If you experience any type of problem with frequent spam complaints, then making it easier for users to unsubscribe may reduce the number of spam complaints that you get. Nothing will impact your sender reputation with email service providers and internet service providers more quickly than a high volume of spam complaints. It may benefit you to be able to minimize those spam complaints by making it easier for users to remove themselves from your list. If you are going to lose subscribers regardless, making every effort to ensure that you lose them via an unsubscribe request rather than a spam complaint is important.
Indication that Your Email is an Advertisement
The Email Legal Requirements: CAN-SPAM also requires that you make it apparent that your email is an advertisement. This includes if your email is designed in any way to drive traffic to a website that you then make money from, so, even if your email isn't directly an advertisement, you'll need to note that it's an advertisement if it drives traffic to a monetizing website.
Incorporating The Email Legal Requirements: Simply including a brief line of text in the footer of your email that says "This email was brought to you by Our Company, a company that specializes in certain activities" will fulfill this requirement.
It may seem like these three email legal requirements shouldn't be important enough to warrant an entire section in an email marketing guide book. However, failure to ensure that they are included could result in legal ramifications. Ensure that they are persistent, permanent parts of all of your email templates.
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