Email marketing is a very effective way of reaching your target market. It is less expensive than other marketing methods, whilst allowing you to reach huge volumes of potential customers. In fact, by 2008, it is expected to be the most used method of advertising. Are you aware of the various email marketing laws that are in effect throughout the United States and other countries? It is important that you take the time to educate yourself on this topic before you proceed with an e-mail marketing campaign, 36 of the 50 U.S.
states have privacy laws in place regarding e-mail marketing tactics. There are also laws in Europe, Australia, and Asia. Larger businesses will often retain the services of a specialist lawyer.
But for the small business it is usually just sufficient to make yourself aware of the law, and how they affect you. The CAN-SPAM Act was implemented in the United States to protect the privacy of consumers on January 1st 2004. CAN-SPAM is short for controlling the assault of non-solicited pornography and marketing act. The act prohibits the use of misleading to and fro headers in the email. Marketers are required to include their physical address in the email (this can be a registered office).
There must also be an opt out link in every email, giving the consumer the ability to request removal from the senders list. The sender is required to remove the consumer from their database within 10 working days. Any email containing sexual content must be clearly identifiable before the recipient opens it. Marketers must obtain permission from the consumer in order to sell their email address.
Internet regulators are getting much tougher on marketers who violate these laws. They are imposing massive fines, and in some cases jail sentences of up to five years. These harsher regulations are to protect the users of the internet and mail services, who felt their privacy was being violated as their email continued to be clogged up with hundreds of unsolicited emails that were being randomly sent, with no particular target market in mind. As the use of email marketing continues to grow we can expect the regulations to be futhur enforced.
In addition, marketers who continue to send email marketing messages to consumers who have requested to be removed from their list may well decide to sue. This can be very scary. The law does however protect you also. You will not be found liable if a spammer has used your business as a cover, as long as you are unaware of the situation.
You are also not liable if a virus is found in your marketing emails, just so long as you did not place it there, or know it was there, prior to sending out the emails. The Coalition Against Unsolicited Emails is a non-profit organisation helping consumers to know their rights, to stop unfair email marketing practices, and also to provide businesses with answers to their questions before they engage in such activities. They also work closely with members of Congress to get laws passed that will be in the best interests of both consumers and business. Their website is a great place to get information www.
cauce.org Email marketing is a great opportunity to keep your business in the mind of the consumer, as well as encouraging them to make fresh purchases. However, it is important that you abide by the regulations and stay within the bounds of the law. Whilst most businesses do this, many don't, others just simply are not educated and aware in the legislation, and so break the law unintentionally (no excuse in law). The Internet is a great place to get information regarding these laws and fair email practices.
Check regularly for any updates. Keep within the legislation and your business will stand out and grow accordingly.
Chris Haycock is an information publisher, specialising in helping others set up and run their own profitable internet business. For more information on the above, and to get an absolutely no cost two hour business video, why not go now to http://www.easyebizz.com