We all get that irritating junk mail that finds its way into our regular email in-boxes; those invitations to get rich quick or to find the partner of your dreams. This unsolicited information is a waste of time and energy but the people who send them are happy if just 1% of their target audience responds. Spam on the Internet is a booming business, a cheap and easy way to reach a massive audience around the world. Bottom line is that it is information that we didn’t ask for; an invasion of privacy and it preys on a gullible audience.
The War Against Spam
A new Canadian law came into effect on July 1, 2014 to restrict electronic marketing to a large degree. Known as the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), it’s mission is to regulate the many marketing emails, social medical messages and text messages sent to individuals in Canada. While it addresses some of the concerns of the American CAN-SPAM Act, it converts electronic marketing in Canada from an opt-out basis to a opt-in standard.
Because Canadian Anti-Spam Law protects computers in Canada, it applies to businesses in the United States if the receiver of the download or the message is located in Canada. In other words, the CASL prohibits the sending of an electronic message of a commercial nature to any computer or cell phone; any electronic address in fact unless the recipient has actually consented to receiving it. According to Spam Laws in America and Canada and the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, email markets can send unsolicited commercial email, so long as they contain certain information and comply with certain standards such as –
- opt-out requests must be honored within 10 business days
- there is a clearly visible unsubscribe mechanism in each and every email
- opt out lists are only used for compliance purposes
- the topic line must be in keeping with the content in the email and not be misleading
- the name of the business needs to be identified along with a phone number and email address
Newsletter Adherence under CASL so as to Avoid Stiff Penalties
Every business wants to send value-added newsletters to their customers, keeping them updated on what the company is doing and what deals and promotions their customers can benefit from. The problem is, how do you keep your newsletter from becoming spam and being deleted, and how do you avoid the penalties from sending a newsletter regarded as spam?
- The first thing is to get your recipients permission to send a newsletter; to make sure your list is clean and totally opt-in.
- Avoid using all capitals but rather capitalize the beginnings of your sentences.
- Use professional grammar and punctuation so as not to arouse the suspicions of your readers.
- Make sure to tell your readers how to unsubscribe in your newsletter and on your website.
- Always let them know who to contact if they have any trouble with unsubscribing.
- Avoid spammy phrases such as ‘Once in a Lifetime Opportunity’.
- Avoid using lots of exclamation marks.
- Avoid fonts in bright colors such as red, yellow or green.
Keep Your Newsletter Out of the Junk Folder
Spam is just one of the scourges of the Internet and can be frustrating, dangerous, financially draining and inconvenient. In a business setting, employees spend a good part of the day responding to emails and opening up newsletters from clients. Every business needs email protection that will block spam such as chain letters, mal-ware links, porno chat lines as well as other malicious information without actually blocking legitimate messages from the right sources.
This worthless spam simply interrupts the flow of intelligent and worthwhile flow of information on the Internet. A newsletter seen as spam and associated with your business, makes it look suspect. In such a competitive world you can’t afford for your business to be seen as spammy, and MailChimp’s ‘How to Avoid Spam Filters Guide‘ will offer practical tips on how to keep your newsletter from finding its ways into never, neverland.