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October 30, 2008  

Anyone who hears the acronym CAN-SPAM can be excused for assuming it's intrusive and onerous; but in an article at MarketingProfs, Neil Anuskiewicz says the legislated guidelines actually make you a better email marketer. No legitimate business will take issue, for instance, with the rule against harvesting email addresses: we all know unsolicited messages accomplish nothing except annoying their recipients. While your ESP will help you meet CAN-SPAM requirements, Anuskiewicz notes that the buck still stops with you.

OK. Quick primer: The two key CAN-SPAM elements that every email message must include:

1.  A valid postal address. No see-sawing on this one. "Although easy enough to do," he says, "many people seem to forget this rule. But it is just good marketing, as greater transparency leads to greater trust by your subscribers."

2.  A relevant subject line. Again, this is something of a no-brainer, but Anuskiewicz contends that following this rule is both good law and smart marketing: "If your email does not contain a good, relevant subject line, you ... won’t entice subscribers."

"Meeting the CAN-SPAM requirements is the responsibility of the sender and not the ESP," Anuskiewicz reminds us. "Reputable ESPs will assist senders in meeting the requirements, but the sender must stay vigilant in verifying that all aspects of the act are met."

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