CAN-SPAM podcast

This week we start our new 5-minute format! Listen to Kyle talk about the basics of the CAN-SPAM act and answer some questions about email marketing from listeners and around the web. Have a future topic you want to see covered or questions on the episode? Leave us a comment!

Episode Transcription:

“Welcome to the MIND Your Business podcast! I’m your host, Kyle Speaker, and this week kicks off our brand new podcast format. Now you can listen to us talk about small business, marketing, and life  in 5-minute bite-sized chunks every thursday.

This week we are going to be expanding on an article we wrote a few months back about the CAN-SPAM act. We’ll also be answering some common questions about email marketing from small business owners.

What is the CAN-SPAM act?

Put simply, it provides regulations and guidelines for internet marketers, in order to help protect consumers. I like to break down the act into its 5 main pillars:

Number 1: Your header info must be accurate. This refers to things like the domain name and email address that is being used in your message. It’s pretty easy to stay out of trouble with this one, as long as you aren’t pretending to be from a domain other than your own, you should be fine.

2: The subjects of your emails have to be truthful. Don’t claim to be giving something away for free if you aren’t, and don’t make claims that aren’t legitimate.

3: You must provide a way to opt-out or unsubscribe from your emails. Once you receive an unsubscribe notice, you have to comply within 10 business days. Luckily, most email marketing software and companies already take care of this for you.

4: Commercial emails must identify themselves as an advertisement or solicitation in some way. While there is no hard and fast rule as to how this must be done, as long as you aren’t trying to conceal who you are in a shady manner, you should be fine. Bonus points if your email includes where they signed up for your email list at.

The fifth and last point is that your email must include your business’s physical address. Like most of the other rules outlined in the CAN-SPAM act, this is another way to help consumers know who is really sending them email.

Now as long as you follow those five main pillars, you shouldn’t have to worry about your email campaigns having any issues with the law.

Continuing with our theme of email marketing, let’s take a look at some common questions we came across:

Where can I find emails to place on my marketing list?

The most common form we recommend is by using sign up forms through your website and content. You might also have some success using methods such as physical sign ups at events or through hosting a contest. If you need a lot of emails quickly, or are looking for a focused “email blast”, purchasing a list may also make sense.

Can I use scraped emails in my marketing?

This one is a little more difficult, and may require looking into the specific laws regarding advertising where you live. In most cases, I suggest not using scraped emails if possible. Receiving unsolicited marketing emails is not only annoying, but may be seen as violating the CAN-SPAM act.

How often should I send emails to my subscriber list?

The exact frequency of your email campaign depends on your industry and the goals you have for your campaign. I find that the best frequency to send emails at is whichever you told your subscribers when they first signed up. If they signed up for weekly emails, send weekly emails. As long as you’re upfront with how many emails they’ll be getting, and send quality content, any frequency is fine. For those of you that want a hard answer, I prefer weekly. Not only do I typically see the best results from campaigns using this frequency, but it fits with my own personal “flow”.

That wraps up our episode. If you have any other questions about email marketing, ideas for future episodes, or pictures of dogs dressed up as bears, please send us a message or leave a comment below.”

The Internet Astronaut AKA: Kyle Speaker

Nerd to Human translator, lover of Smoked Gouda, general co-ordinator of Marketing efforts at MIND.