Say “spam” and most business executives think of annoying messages that litter their IN box. But the CAN-SPAM Act and the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Rule cover a much broader range of commercial email. Yes, that includes messages offering to split $50 million languishing in the foreign bank account of a deposed prince. But the Rule also applies to a wide variety of communications with customers or potential customers — for example, an email notifying them about a product you’re featuring or an upcoming sale.
Looking for the latest on CAN-SPAM? Here’s the good news. Compliance isn’t complicated and the FTC just released a how-to video to make the job that much easier. The video features a seven-point checklist to refer to when your company is sending out messages covered by the Rule.
How can you use this new resource?
1) Build the video into in-house training. Bringing on new employees to work on marketing communications? There’s no need to start from scratch when it comes to CAN-SPAM. The video explains the basics in a friendly, to-the-point way, but also warns of the costly consequences — $16,000 per violation — of a CAN-SPAM glitch.
2) Show the video to your staff. CAN-SPAM has been around for awhile, but even experienced pros could benefit from a refresher. Brew a pot of coffee, buy a bag of bagels, and play the video at your next staff meeting.
3) Share it with contractors and clients. CAN-SPAM establishes 360º liability. Even if you hire someone to handle your email marketing, it’s up to you to make sure your messages comply with the law. If you don’t, your business and the company you hire could face legal action. Minimize the risk of an email oops by sharing the video with contractors.
4) Talk it up. Speaking at an upcoming conference, writing something for a client newsletter, or looking to keep your social networking site topical? Your audience will appreciate practical tips on CAN-SPAM compliance. FTC resources aren’t copyrighted, so link, upload, and post away.
However you decide to use the new video, maximize its impact by also sharing the brochure, The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business. Send the link to your staff or print out copies and hand them out as take-aways at your next industry event.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
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