Deliverability, Deliverability, Deliverability. We all want to get better email deliverability. The same way you don’t build a house without a foundation, you don’t build good deliverability without a foundation. The basic requirement for deliverability is compliance and infrastructure. The CAN-SPAM Act clearly states the rules put in place for all commercial email delivered. It’s never a bad idea for a quick refresher course. Here are the main requirements.
- Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
- Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
- Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
- Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
While rolling through my ongoing seek and review of the millions of social networking sites I submit for you The Escapist. Here’s their own description of what they do.
Every week, in addition to our daily editorials and new stories, The Escapist publishes four feature articles on a different topic each week.The Escapist covers videogames, media and the gaming lifestyle. The vast majority of our content is written by freelance contributors, many of whom have published their first professional articles in the pages of The Escapist.
We feel that this diverse collection of voices and identities allows The Escapist to fully cover games, media and popular culture in all of its multi-faceted angles, and we’re committed to leaving the door open for the future great writers of our generation to get their start at the Escapist.
The site isn’t really my cup of tea, but I can see where it would be pretty useful if you were into the world of online gaming. I am into email marketing, so what you see here caught my eye quickly. The Escapist does not comply with CAN-SPAM. There’s no foundation, and no foundation means a building will eventually crumble. There is a link to cancel your subscription, but when you click it, the functionality is broken. Oops.
Foundation is everything. Start with a base, and test that base. If you aren’t 100% CAN-SPAM compliant, don’t send. If your unsubscribe functionality breaks, it HAS to be fixed. Don’t think about sending any new email, and don’t think about doing anything else until it is fixed. A crumbling infrastructure is the quickest way to a total collapse.