Email is a quick and efficient way businesses can communicate with customers. Sending emails to customers is easy and relatively low risk. However, it’s important to follow all relevant guidelines and regulations that involve email. Improving your business’s email compliance is an easy way to keep customers happy while following the law.
What Is Email Compliance?
The government regulates emails for the benefit of consumers. These guidelines tell businesses what kinds of emails they can send. There are four main regulations that cover email compliance — PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, GLBA and GDPR, which cover the protection of credit card information, patient information, consumer data and customer privacy.
Each regulation comes with its own rules. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission asserts that any emails a business sends must follow its guidelines to be considered compliant. These guidelines are from the CAN-SPAM act — a U.S. law that sets guidelines for email communications and outlines the consequences for violations.
The CAN-SPAM act covers these types of email communications:
- Transactional: Updates a consumer on previous interactions with the business.
- Commercial: Advertises a service or product.
- Other: Other forms of email communication.
The CAN-SPAM act affects all three types to varying degrees. For example, commercial emails face more regulations than transactional ones.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
A company will face negative consequences if they don’t follow proper email regulations. If a business does not comply, it will face serious punishments or large fines. Putting the public’s information or data at risk has legal and social ramifications.
The CAN-SPAM act states that each violation will result in fines of up to $50,120. Anyone involved with the business who is responsible for violations might face criminal penalties. Beyond that, a business might also be forced to deal with public backlash, depending on the severity of the situation.
How To Improve Compliance
Improving compliance will reflect positively on the company and can make consumers feel more comfortable with any email marketing material. There are five key ways that a business can improve email compliance.
Use Useful Subject Lines
The subject line of the email should be appropriate and useful. Consumers should be able to tell what the email is about without clicking on it. It should also connect with the content. Subject lines that relate to the content will appear more truthful.
Manage Third-Party Hosts
If a business chooses to use a third party to host data, it should carefully screen the service. Any misuse of data by a third party will affect the business itself. All actions of a third-party host should be monitored, and regular audits should be performed to ensure everything is compliant.
Make Opting Out Simple
Making an easily recognizable and accessible option to opt out of further emails is a simple way to improve compliance. A business that makes opting out simple will be in compliance with the law. There’s also a chance that this will improve consumers’ opinions of the company.
Host Emails on Private Servers to Boost Email Compliance
Hosting emails or any consumer data on private servers is excellent for a business. Making sure the information is secure is a crucial part of being compliant, so maximizing security is sure to improve a business’s email compliance.
Verify Before Sending
All emails that a business sends should go to a verified and authentic email address. This is especially important in the case of any health-related information. A company can quickly improve its email compliance by sending verification emails before signing a user up to receive any emails.
Pay Attention And Stay Compliant
Staying compliant with laws and regulations is vital for any business. Email compliance might seem complex, but it’s relatively straightforward. As long as a business pays attention to the information it’s sending, collecting and storing, it should have no problem improving its email compliance.