Tips for Keeping Can-Spam Compliant
The last thing any e-mail fundraiser/marketer wants to be associated with is that nasty four-letter word, “spam.”
The Can-Spam Act of 2003 regulates unsolicited commercial e-mail if it is an advertisement or promotion and it is unsolicited.
Nonprofit organizations can send unsolicited e-mails without violating Can-Spam laws, but there are some key things they should do to ensure that they stay “white-listed.”
The article “Staying on the E-mail Up and Up: What Nonprofits Need to Know About CAN-SPAM” by GuideStar’s director of communications and newsletter editor Suzanne Coffman, offers advice to nonprofits about how to keep their e-mails Can-Spam compliant.
The article recommends going through the following checklist of steps:
* Send e-mails from a legitimate, active e-mail address. If recipient’s reply to the e-mail, the message should go to an actual e-mail inbox.
* The header information (“From,” “Subject”) should identify the sender or the organization.
* The body of the message should include a postal address for the sender.
* Use an accurate subject line that doesn’t mislead recipients about the contents of the message.
* Offer opportunities to opt-out of future mailings. “Either include a link to a page where recipients can remove their addresses or provide an e-mail address where they can write to have their addresses removed,” Coffman writes.
* If someone opts out, respect the decision and remove the person from your mailing list within 10 days.
* Err on the side of caution. Coffman advises, “If it’s likely a recipient would view the message as an advertisement or promotion, put the word ‘advertisement’ in the subject or body of the e-mail, even if the message is related to your mission.”