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How to avoid a spam jam

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The CAN-SPAM Act stipulates that each individual email in violation of the rules it sets forth is subject to a penalty of up to $16,000. For example, an agent who sends information to 20 or 30 prospects using the MS Outlook blind-copy function is likely violating at least one of the seven rules below.

Here are the rules set forth by the CAN-SPAM Act:

  • Don’t use false header information. Your “from,” “to,” “reply to” and routing information must be accurate and identify the business that initiated the message.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the contents of email message.
  • Identify any messages that are advertisements. You must clearly disclose any advertisement as such.
  • Include your location. Your message should include the physical address of your business.
  • Explain how to opt out. This is one of the most important requirements. Include an obvious method for opting out. Even better, make it very easy for recipients to opt out of future emailings.
  • Honor opt-out requests quickly. This works best as an automated process. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days, though a one day turnaround is always best.
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. Even if your employees are sending out their own email campaigns, your agency is still responsible. The same concept is true if you hire an email-blasting firm. Although they may send emails on your behalf, your insurance agency is still responsible for compliance, and your domain name may also be at risk.

Running afoul of CAN-SPAM is something you don’t want to risk. So take a moment to insure that your agency is in compliance and keep regulatory indigestion at bay.

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Alan Blume is an author, and as founder and CEO of StartUpSelling Inc., he works with small businesses on lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information, go to