As a voiceover entrepreneur, marketing your business is essential for your success. Email marketing should be a large piece of your strategy. With the passing of regulations like CAN-SPAM (USA), CASL (Canada), and GDPR (EU), you're no longer allowed to send email without regard for the rights and concerns of recipients. In today’s blog, we’ll look at important elements within these new laws and discuss best practices when sending emails.
Most countries have their own set of email marketing laws, but most share one common element: permission. To stay compliant with the majority of current laws and regulations, you must, in some form, be granted permission by the recipient. There are two different types of permission, implied and express. Implied permission is described as someone with whom you have a current business relationship. This could be a client or a vendor, or even a member of a similar club or community. If you share an association with someone in a social media group, you could be considered part of a shared community. The line is somewhat grey. Be careful about making assumptions regarding existing relationships.
If you aren’t sure if you have implied permission, then you probably need express permission. That is direct consent you’ve gathered to send them emails. You see this a lot on websites. It’s usually in the form of a pop-up asking you to enter your email address to receive a discount or an exclusive item. When you enter your email address, you’re giving your consent to be emailed.
With the BOSS Blast product, the hard work of obtaining express permission is taken care of for you, allowing VO artists to send targeted, branded emails to potential clients easily.
You have a responsibility to make sure you accurately represent yourself when you send an email. Your header information should reflect who you are and your intention. This new regulation element stems from the worst of the worst email spammers over the last several years. The “from” field must include your valid email contact address. While you can be creative with your subject line, it needs to be related to the content in the email. It would be illegal to write in the subject line that the recipient has won a contest for a free voiceover, but then it’s just clickbait to get them to open an email.
Include Your Address
It may seem antiquated, but the new laws state you need to include your physical address for your business in the text of the email. This must be a postal address in the body of your email; it can’t be a link to your website listing your address. It can be a PO box, street address, or the address of the company you’re using for your email campaign.
One of the most appreciated and quickly adopted regulations for email marketing campaigns has been the addition of the unsubscribe link. Regardless of the size of your email campaign, you must include an easily recognizable link for the recipient to unsubscribe. This link must be clear, conspicuous, and easy for the average user to understand. Not having an unsubscribe link in your email can actually cause a feeling of distrust and anger from recipients. Not to mention … you would be breaking the law in most countries! Believe it or not, this includes any marketing emails you send out from third-party servers, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.
Quickly Respond to Unsubscribe Requests
In addition to giving your recipients the option to unsubscribe, you must respond to those requests within 10 days. You aren’t allowed to charge them a fee for opting out, and you can’t ask for any additional information other than their email address. Also, your link must take them directly to the unsubscribe option and only have one step to complete. Depending on which countries you send emails to, you should include the word “unsubscribe” in each country’s native language.
To find out more info, make sure to listen to my latest podcasts on SPAM compliance:
The Fine Print
It’s worth your time to actually take an hour to read the new email regulation requirements. Email marketing is an integral part of your overall marketing strategy, and it’s so worth taking the time to understand and implement these new regulations into your campaigns. If you decide to work with a company to help generate email communications, it’s still your responsibility as the business owner to make sure your emails follow all the new laws and regulations surrounding unsolicited digital communication.
Now you’re ready to send compliant emails like a BOSS!
Much love and Keep on rockin' your voice and your biz!
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.