This article contains both the US Government requirements as well as best practices of avoiding Spam filters.
What is SPAM?
SPAM is unwanted commercial email that is sent to a large amount of recipients.
Apart from the governmental requirements, use the following best practices to make sure your emails will get to target recipients.
- Use trusted IP address to send emails. Every IP-address has its own rating: if it is low, then it is likely that the letter will be regarded as spam. Check the reputation of your IP on one of the IP presence in spam databases resources. For different types of messages (private business, mass customer newsfeed, mass “cold” emailing), use a different IP not to lose communication with all recipients.
- Use a reliable internet domain. This means you should not use free domains for sending mass emails. Mark your domain with special DKIM keys (Gmail allows keys no longer than 1024 bits), and SPF keys.
- Use real names in the emails. Avoid using such words as “lottery”, “opportunity”, “click”, “buy”, “download”, etc.
- Regularly count the percentage of messages delivered, opened and replied emails as well as the quantity of bounced emails (Reply does this for you automatically). This will help you to make sure everything goes as planned.
- If your bounce rate is higher than 10% and open and reply rates are lower than 2%, you are in the high risk category of being listed in the anti spam systems.
- Avoid using unnecessary code and tags in the email template.
- Do not copy and paste content from text editors such as Microsoft Word as it may contain code and trigger anti spam systems.
- Use professional email templates.
- Use A/B testing to understand how different variations of content affect performance key indicators.
General Rules of compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act
The Federal Trade Commission of the United States has issued the following main requirements for sending commercial emails:
- Don’t use false or misleading header information.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
- Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
- Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address.
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days.
- Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law.