6 Anti-spam rules every business needs to follow

6 Anti-spam rules every business needs to follow

Spam has been a nuisance ever since email was created. In fact, it accounts for 14.5 billion emails sent every day. It also costs the global economy billions of dollars every year in lost productivity and unnecessary bandwidth usage. And that’s before we even start looking into the more serious threats certain types of spam poses, such as phishing scams and malicious attachments.

spam email statistic infographic

As a business, you owe it to your customers and to your reputation at large to take all possible steps to eliminate any outgoing emails that might be classified as spam. With anti-spam laws only likely to get tougher, it’s important to be informed of the latest trends. Here are six of the most important rules you need to follow:

#1. Ask for consent

You can’t simply send promotional emails whenever and to whomever you see fit. One of the core principles of the CAN-SPAM act, and others like it, is permission-based marketing. One of the easiest ways to ask for permission to send promotional newsletters is to include an opt-in box on your website or at checkout in the case of online retail. However, the option must always be unchecked by default. That’s the fundamental difference between having implied permission and having explicit permission. It should always be the latter.

#2. Do not use misleading headers

Using misleading headers, in which the sender purports to be someone else, is a favorite tactic of phishing scammers. If you’re sending any email from your business, you should always be transparent when it comes to the name of the business and the sender. Trying to trick people into thinking it’s a personal email won’t just land your messages straight in the spam folder, it will leave people thinking it’s a scam and potentially have your email addresses picked up by one of the major blacklists.

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#3. Be up front about promotional messages

Being transparent about the nature of an email also falls under the category of not trying to trick people. If your email is promotional, it must be instantly obvious before the recipient even opens it. That means subject lines must clearly reflect the content of the email. Sure, there’s space for being creative, but it should never border on manipulation. For example, don’t claim the recipient has won something if the content of your email is all about the launch of a new product line.

#4. Provide a physical business address

Spammers and scammers aren’t likely to give out their real address, though the more sophisticated ones may misappropriate one belonging to a legitimate business or individual. The law states that every business should provide the physical address for its registered place of operation, even if it’s only a P.O. box. This isn’t just a legal requirement, it also builds trust by demonstrating that you’re a real business.

#5. Have an up-to-date privacy policy

New legislation like Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA revolve around the concept that privacy is a fundamental human right, and it should be included by design and default. To that end, you must provide information in the form of an up-to-date privacy policy about how you collect and use personal data, including email addresses themselves. You must also be able to divulge which information you have about a subscriber upon request.

#6. Always include an unsubscribe link

Another common characteristic of spam email is the lack of an unsubscribe link, which is usually found at the bottom of the email. This is also a legal requirement. Fortunately, most email marketing providers include this feature automatically, but you must make sure it works. You’ll need to honor any opt-out requests within 10 calendar days, but sooner is always better.

If you need more guidance and information regarding spam emails, Complete Technology is your number one resource. Our experts have years of experience dealing and filtering pesky spam emails, so we’re well equipped to help you. We also provide robust security solutions to make sure spam and other harmful messages don’t reach your inbox. Call today to get the support you need.

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