There’s nothing as frustrating as working hard on an email campaign, only to have the email land in subscribers’ spam folders. The beautiful email templates, the expertly crafted email copy, and the well-executed strategy all go to waste.
Why are there anti-spam laws, anyway? Anti-spam laws apply to everyone, not just malicious spammers.
What is spam?
In order to understand why there are anti-spam laws, we must first understand what spam is.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Email spam is defined as unsolicited email messages. These are usually sent in bulk and are also known as “junk mail,” due to them being irrelevant to most recipients.
Spammers usually obtain email addresses using spambots, or automated programs that scour the internet for email addresses. They then create distribution lists that they use to broadcast their message to the millions of people on the list.
Spammers don’t need everyone to respond to their emails. Their hope is that a few of the people on their distribution list will engage with their email.
Why are there anti-spam laws?
While not all spam may be malicious, it is still necessary for regulatory authorities to put laws in place to protect users from unwanted emails.
The biggest issue with anti-spam laws is that they are different for every region.
For example, in the United States, the CAN-SPAM act allows people to send unsolicited emails even without obtaining their consent. In the EU, because of the GDPR, marketers are only allowed to send promotional emails to people who have opted in or given consent to the business to send them business emails.
The tricky part in all this is that, no matter where you may be emailing from, you still have to abide by the anti-spam laws of the country in which your recipient resides.
How can you abide by these anti-spam laws?
With all the different anti-spam laws in the different regions of the world, it may seem difficult to plan an email marketing strategy that aligns with them all, but it’s actually quite simple.
One of the easiest ways to go about ensuring that you don’t break any anti-spam laws is to segment your email list by region. This will help you craft emails that will not be considered spam in those places.
Another way of staying on the right side of the anti-spam law is by simply ensuring that you use double opt-in when signing up subscribers. By using double opt-in subscription, you ensure that you have obtained express consent to send email communication to your subscribers, wherever they may be in the world.
Does it really matter?
Abiding by anti-spam laws will do your business a whole lot of good. Failure to do so will result in your emails being manually labeled as spam by your recipients, an action that has a number of consequences. Some of those consequences include, but are not limited to:
- A reduction in deliverability rates
- Losing your brand reputation
- Being blacklisted
- Financial loss in the form of penalties
This is why it is so important for every email marketer to understand the different anti-spam laws before pressing the “send” button.
Now that you know what anti-spam laws are and why they are important, your next steps should involve:
- Familiarizing yourself with anti-spam laws
- Complying with those anti-spam laws
While this may mean that you’ll have to stop sending further emails to subscribers on your list who didn’t subscribe by way of the double opt-in method, you will be doing your business a favor. You always want to make sure that your list is grown properly.
Speaking of which, be sure to check out our article on email list building best practices to help you ensure that you have a healthy email list.