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.

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