If you’ve done any study on cold emailing, you’ve come across certain legal intricacies that have made you question whether your Cold email campaigns would not inadvertently violate any laws.
To assuage your fears, cold emailing is completely lawful as long as you follow the restrictions set out by applicable legislation. The CAN-SPAM Act, which established criteria for sending commercial emails in the United States, was one of the first of its kind.
In this blog article, I’d like to offer you a quick rundown of the act’s provisions, but I also want to show you that the CAN-SPAM act is more than simply a collection of formalities to follow. Actually, by applying and according to these guidelines, your cold emails will improve, become more prospect-oriented, and appear more like something your receivers will be pleased to receive.
So, first, let’s go through the theory, and then we’ll go into the how-to.
What exactly is the CAN-SPAM act?
The CAN-SPAM Act went into effect in 2003; due to the rapid expansion of email communication and an increasing amount of unwanted messages filling people’s mailboxes, the United States government finally decided to create criteria for sending commercial emails.
Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) is an abbreviation formed from the act’s full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing. It’s also a but very brilliant and on-point wordplay: can (to stop) spam.
“All OK, but why should I care?” – “I’m not a spammer,” you’re presumably thinking. I want to establish new business contacts. “Should I follow the CAN-SPAM laws while sending emails?” Let’s wait and see what the law says about it.
Is the CAN-SPAM statute applicable to cold emailers?
As previously stated, the statute applies to any commercial emails that are not transactional or related correspondence. Are your cold emails in this category?
Even if you don’t pitch straight after “Hi,” which is a massive no-no, it’s a message you send to someone who has never had any previous contact with you and has not opted in to get this message. The statute contains no exemption for business-to-business correspondence.
Given that, if you send cold emails to prospects in the United States, you should follow the CAN-SPAM Act. Remember, and this is critical, that the legislation does not prohibit sending cold emails. However, you must meet some requirements for your cold email to be following it.
How can you ensure that your cold emails are CAN-SPAM compliant?
The statute prohibits anything misleading or dishonest to the receiver. So subject lines like “Your business is in jeopardy” or “You’re a winner” (yes, these are real-world examples) fit into this category. Sure, they pique your interest, but when you read such an email, you realize it’s not at all what you imagined. You feel duped.
As a result, the subject line of your cold email must precisely represent the content of your message or be logically related to it. Not only for the CAN-SPAM but also for your prospects’ sake. How can people believe you’re a legitimate business if you undercut their trust from the start?
I understand how tempting it is to use a clickbait subject line. After all, the goal is to pique the curiosity of your prospect. However, tempting with clickbait is not the way to go about it.
Consider a subject line as a means to start a dialogue with your prospects. It’s similar to using a key to open a door. Kicking or bumping into your prospects’ doors will not help you. That’s what it looks like to use clickbait and false subject lines.
Only the correct key will unlock the door. So, how does the ideal key appear? Where can I locate it? In other words
Give your recipients a simple method to opt-out.
The CAN-SPAM Act requires that the receiver of any B2B email containing a commercial offer be given the option to opt-out from subsequent communication at any time. That is why all marketing communications include a “unsubscribe” link.
However, the term “unsubscribe” does not fully suit the context of cold emailing. Prospects did not sign up to receive your emails.
So, how can you provide your prospects with a method to opt out but avoid the term “unsubscribe”?
After your message, provide a disclaimer. There is no need to utilize lengthy and perplexing legal language. Make it sound easy, human-like, and visible (not in the thin grey text that’s difficult to read). “P.S. If you don’t want me to contact you again, please let me know” or “If you don’t want to receive additional emails, please reply with “Opt-out. That’s all.
Oh, and if someone wants to opt-out, respect their request and stop sending them emails.