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If your company does a lot of mass emailing as part of your automotive internet marketing strategy, it’s important that you’re careful not to fall into the “spam” category. It can be difficult to walk that line between what is acceptable and what is annoying, but it’s important that you’re able to distinguish between the two. When in doubt, you should consult the CAN-SPAM act, a document containing rules from the government on how to mass email in a courteous and legal way.
1. Be honest with your header. This means that you should use accurate, transparent information when sending the email. Don’t try to disguise your FROM address or domain to make it more palatable.
2. Use descriptive email subjects. This one is self-explanatory. If you’re writing about a sale or a product, try to include that in your subject.
3. Limit your disguise. If what you are sending is an ad, make it an ad. You can get yourself in trouble if you try and pretend the recipient has won a contest or some other ploy.
4. Include a physical address. This one seems strange, but you’re much less likely to run into trouble if somewhere in the email body you include either a street address or a post office box.
5. Include an opt-out. It can be in the footer of the email, it just has to be there. It’s not the responsibility of the recipient to figure out how to get off the list if they don’t want to be on it. They have the right to opt-out and you are obliged to make it simple.
6. Act on opt-outs. You must honor all opt-out requests within ten days of them being made. If you don’t, you’re technically breaking the law. Even if you aren’t concerned with the dubious legality, once someone tries to opt-out, what good are you doing your company by continuing to harass them?
7. Control your own brand. Hiring another company and letting them spam on your behalf doesn’t help you out much. If you contract someone and they violate the CAN- SPAM act, you BOTH are legally responsible.
These are the main takeaways from the CAN-SPAM act. Sure, you can ignore them and probably won’t get in much trouble, but you won’t make any friends either. Following these rules makes the internet a better place, and even if they opt-out, your audience will think more of you for following them.