7 Steps to FTC CAN-SPAM Compliance for B2B Email Marketing

June 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Email Marketing Tips

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Whether you’re new to the world of B2B email marketing or you’re an old dog looking to learn some new tricks, at the top of your list of priorities has to be CAN-SPAM compliance. Understanding the CAN-SPAM act and what you have to do to abide by it won’t just keep you out of trouble with the law, but it will also enable you to dramatically improve the success of your campaigns. Follow these 7 steps to abide by the FTC CAN-SPAM laws and improve your B2B email marketing.

1. Be Polite – As in, participate in permission email marketing rather than harvesting addresses from the Internet or buying an email list for sale. Throw signup forms on your website, collect addresses from your physical store and generally find prospects and list members in any way that you can as long as you have the person’s permission to contact them.

2. Identify Yourself – All of your B2B email marketing messages have to be easily identifiable as coming from you. That means the “From” field should have the most recognizable name your business has. For some people that might be your personal name, but for most businesses it will be the name of the company itself, or the shortened version of the name that the company commonly goes by.

3. Be Descriptive – An overlooked piece of FTC CAN-SPAM compliance is the subject lines of your emails. You should be accurate, descriptive and concise so your recipients clearly understand what the email is about. Use proper punctuation and grammar and avoid all things SPAMMY: “Buy now!!! Free, free, free!!!”

4. Stay in Touch – Even prospects that were at one point highly interested in your business and your messages will forget about you or lose interest if you don’t stay in touch with them. That means you can’t be infrequent and random with your B2B email marketing messages. Send out your newsletters or other emails at regular intervals and inform your list members upon signup how often they can expect to hear from you.

5. Ask WWIDWTE? – When in doubt, ask yourself WWIDWTE? Or, what would I do with this email? Take an honest, objective view of your emails or have someone else do it for you. Does it look like SPAM? Can you clearly see who it’s from and what the message is about? If you can spot a problem with your messages, you can be sure that your list members will, which means you’re one step closer to the SPAM filter and trash bin.

6. Time for a Wash – As in, actively clean your list from time to time to keep it up to date and as targeted as possible. Remove email addresses that don’t exist or routinely show up as bounces for other reasons. This will help improve your deliverability rate and will leave you with a list that has much more quality, even if it’s smaller.

7. Rinse and Repeat – You just cleaned up but you aren’t done yet, it’s time to rinse and repeat. That means that FTC CAN-SPAM compliance is an ongoing process. You can’t ever stop. You always have to be following B2B email marketing best practices that will leave you and your company in compliance with both written legislation and unwritten rules.

Follow these 7 steps to FTC CAN-SPAM compliance and you and your company will be that much closer to B2B email marketing success.

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