As a small business owner, you may already be utilizing email marketing, or considering it. If you're sending emails to your clients or customers at all, you're using email marketing. Unfortunately, many small business owners aren't aware of the rules of engagement and that can be an expensive mistake.
Business email is governed by the FTC's CAN-SPAM Act. It lists 7 specific requirements:
- Don't use false or misleading header information.
- Don't use deceptive subject lines.
- Identify the message as an ad.
- Tell recipients where you're located.
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future emails from you.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly.
- Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.
Every month, we receive a handful of emails from small businesses who don't include an unsubscribe button or their location. That's #4 & #5 in the list above, obviously a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. No biggie, right? Wrong. There are hefty penalties for violations, unless $16,000 PER EMAIL is no biggie. Yikes!
No one wants to get popped for a fine that size, especially when it's so easy to do email the right way. The best way to send email to your customers or clients is through an email management system that ensures you're adhering to law. Here are our top recommendations:
MailChimp - A popular option, it's free and easy to learn. This is the system we use most often when setting up new clients with email opt-ins and email marketing. It's a great option for basic newsletter needs.
ActiveCampaign - If you receive Type B emails, you're receiving ActiveCampaign email. Take another look at the bottom of the email and you can see all of the required information is there. ActiveCampaign is an ideal option for businesses who want more control with automation without a big expense.
Mad Mimi - We actually haven't used Mad Mimi but we know some people who are really smitten with the service. Pricing starts at $10 a month so it's definitely reasonably priced.
You can learn more about the CAN-SPAM Act here. It could save you more than a headache!