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"Sherpa" is a marketing information resource which I use on a regular basis. I found the following article to be extremely informative about the new Can Spam legislation:
New York City Flood Insurance Dear EmailSherpa Reader,
I'm writing you today to admit I'm guilty of a major misjudgment. And, I'm concerned you may be as well. It's about CAN-SPAM.
When I first heard about the new Act, I assumed that it wasn't going to affect legitimate emailers significantly. If you are permission-based and don't mail content that might be considered misleading or offensive, then you should be safe, right?
Business Insurance Colorado Springs I was mainly happy the Act had superceded the California law that's been causing legitimate mailers so much concern; and, also that finally the Feds were going after the guys that give email a bad name. My complacency lasted until I started interviewing experts and reading white papers in preparation for today's scheduled special report on the Act. Turns out the Act has *significant* repercussions for permission mailers – and most white papers I've been able to find are not spelling this out remotely adequately.
Here's a quick summary of what I've learned, and where I propose you turn from here. (Please bear in mind I'm not a lawyer...):
-> Creative changes:
You will have to add your postal mailing address to every promotion you send out, including emails that are sent on your behalf by third parties. This is no big deal in the overall scheme of things.
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-> From line changes:
It appears that if a third party is sending a promotional message on your behalf, the "From" line may have to be your brand name instead of the list owner's. This directly goes against all advice we've ever published on this subject. (We had said the owner of the permission should be the "from" not the person behind the message itself.) If this is correct, famous brand names' results may not be impacted, but smaller brand names hoping for an implied endorsement results pop may be in trouble. Plus, no one seems to have addressed what happens if multiple brands are co-sponsoring a promotional send. How can everyone's name appear in the "from"? -> Suppression file nightmares:
It appears that if anyone receiving a promotional email, that includes your brand name, asks to be removed from the list, your brand has to add that individual to a suppression file to stop them from getting *all* future mailings. This seems to hold true whether you own the list that your promotion was sent to - or not. This is profoundly different from the way permission is handled by most companies currently. Now it's considered the list owners' responsibility not to mail that individual again -- starting January 1st, it may be the marketer's responsibility to never mail the name again even via third parties' lists. So, that would mean anyone sending out your offer to their list will have to get an official suppression file from you and run a merge/purge against their list prior to sending the message. (Do you even have an official suppression file now? Is it brand-wide?) I can see major implications for anyone who:
- allows sales reps to send out offers to their own lists
- markets via resellers
- runs an affiliate program
- uses CPA email advertising
- has multiple internal email databases
- has multiple lists that people can join You'll certainly have to maintain a suppression file; plus figure out a secure way to send it out-of-house without risking names being stolen (see below for an idea on that); plus make sure everyone internally and externally obeys the rules, etc.
If you have multiple lists, you'll also need to give names an easy "manage your subs" form on your site and in all sends that they can use to pick and choose what they'd like to get. (That's a great<