5 ways to build your email list legally

5 ways to build your email list legally

I want you to think back to the time that you put up your website to start selling. You thought everything was all good, you were getting sales and signing up clients. Then, you start reading about how your email list is the key to getting you to the 5-figure months you deeply craved. So you put your banner at the top of your page with a message for people to “Sign up for your newsletter!”, but you only got onesie, twosie sign ups. And you’re wondering WTH, how do I get people to sign up!? So you stroll over to Pinterest, and type in email list and you see a pin that tells you to make an irresistible freebie that people just have to have, and that will get them to sign up to your list, and it works! Your email list grows to 1000 people in one month! It takes one mistake for this list to cost you $42,530 PER EMAIL that you send. Keep on reading to find out how to build your email list legally  and prevent this costly mistake.

What laws govern your email list?

That would be the Can-Spam Act of 2003. The Can-Spam Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and discusses the penalties for violations.

A commercial email is one which advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose. So if you are a business or make money from your blog, then the Can-Spam Act applies to your email list, and you’ll want to read the rest of this blog post on how to build your email list legally.

  1. Use your name or business in the From and Reply

    If you use false information and say that you are another person, then you are breaking the law. This goes for your domain name also. Your emails must be coming from the correct domain aka your website. For example, if your “From” line says that you are Michelle Obama from www.thewhitehouse.gov, then you will be fined if the recipient of the email reports you.

  2. Tell your list where you are located.

    Your emails must include a valid physical address. This can be your current business address, home address, a virtual address, or a PO Box. Check your local USPS for information on how to get a PO Box, if you work at home.  If you don’t have an address in your emails that you send out to your list, then you are making a costly mistake.

  3. Allow someone to opt-out once they don ‘ t want to receive your emails any more, and stop emailing them immediately.

    Make sure your emails have an unsubscribe link. The major companies like Mailchimp, Convertkit, and Mailerlite have them already. So if you use those 3 email marketing systems, you are good to go. If your emails don’t have a link where they can unsubscribe, you should write something on the bottom of your emails like, “If you would no longer like to receive these emails, email ____________ (your email address) and your email will be removed.”

    Once your subscriber makes it known that they no longer want your emails, you have to stop emailing them. I know there have been situations where I continue getting emailed once I’ve opted out. I could report the company in that situation because they are violating the CAN SPAM Act.

  4. Your subject line must relate to your content.

    Who else Googles headlines that will make your open rate sky rocket. *raises hand* It’s ok to have “clickbait” as long as the clickbait headline relates to the content inside of your email. So if you email your list that you are having a giveaway but actually aren’t having a giveaway, then you are breaking the law.

  5. If you ‘ ve hired out your email marketing, monitor the company or person.

    Your email marketing company or VA must follow the CAN SPAM act if they are acting on your behalf. If they don’t follow the rules above, then you could be held liable for their wrong doing. So make sure you add in your contract that they must follow the CAN SPAM act.

Now that you know how to build your email list, you can ride off in the sunset with your awesome, yet legal email list. You can thank me later for saving you $42,530.

Since your email is legally compliant, let’s get your website legal. Make sure you grab your privacy policy, terms and conditions, and disclaimers in this website starter pack.

Testimonial Guidelines: How your testimonials are costing you

Testimonial Guidelines: How your testimonials are costing you

When you work with a client, the last step in most service-based business is the almighty testimonial. In this blog post, I discuss the testimonial guidelines you should follow. Even so, this testimonial could cause a client to sue you. A person usually writes a testimonial as a recommendation, and in turn other people want to hire you. However, there are legal steps you need to take before putting testimonials on your website or on social media.

Most people never think of these steps because no one talks about it, so you have no idea. Luckily, you have me to tell you what you need. These 2 testimonial guidelines cover you if:

1. Someone says they didn’t give you permission to use their testimonial or

2. That they didn’t get the results that were in one of your testimonials.

  1.  Put a release in your client contract and your terms and conditions.


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Michelle | TM & Biz Attorney (@michellewmurphyesq) on


    If you are gathering reviews or testimonials from clients, you need one thing in your contract to cover your assets. Stay tuned to find out what it is.

    Hey everyone, my name is Michelle Murphy, the owner of Wilson Murphy Law where I partner with creative entrepreneurs to protect their businesses through trademarks, contracts, copyrights and forming their business entity.

    So as business owners we want social proof on our websites. But in your contract you need to include a release. In my contracts, I name them a “Release to Create Marketing Materials.” If this is not in your contract and you use your clients face, likeness, photo, or name without their permission, Florida can fine you up to $1000. This is due to the fact that we all have the right to privacy. Every states fine is different, but the majority of states have a right to publicity statute so google it to see how much your testimonial can be costing you.

    And since we’re on the subject of contracts, make sure you join the waitlist for the free 7 day contract course where you will learn how to create a legally valid contract and what to put in your contract to protect yourself and find more hints that can change your contract drastically.

    [mailerlite_form form_id=3]

  2. Add a testimonial disclaimer to your terms and conditions.

    A disclaimer is a statement that usually denies responsibility. A testimonial disclaimer tells your visitors that he or she may not get the same results as a testimonial that is on your website. This is a way to cover your assets, so that a visitor can’t say you guaranteed the same results as the testimonial. A testimonial disclaimer that I write in the terms and conditions/disclaimers for my clients looks something like this:

    The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented on ________________________ (website address) are applicable to the individuals who wrote it. Results vary and may not be representative of the experience of others. The testimonials are voluntarily provided and are not paid, nor were they provided with free _____________ (products or services (choose one or both)), or any benefits in exchange for their statements. The testimonials are representative of ____________ (customer or client (choose one)) experiences but the exact results will be unique and individual to each ____________ (customer or client (choose one)).

    By using these testimonial guidelines, you are protecting yourself from others blaming you because they did not get the results as your other client.

    If you are interested in a DIY contract template that is half the cost of hiring an attorney, visit the WM Law Shop.