California new law affecting e-mail marketing
Based on a decision by the California appellate court ruling in the case of Balsam v. Trancos, if you send commercial email from California or to California residents, you are now required to either include the advertiser’s name in the From line, or use an accurately-registered domain name which is not protected from disclosure by privacy guard or similar services. This affects an incredibly large number of campaigns and marketers.
As a web developer who manages email campaigns for clients, I am taking up the responsibility to send out an alert message to my clients, even if they manage their own campaigns.
I have also been proactive and contacted the mail service provider I use for my clients to make sure they have take appropriate action.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to e-mail marketers and their partners and clients, to stay absolutely and undoubtedly clear of spam and on the right side of the law. If you’re in any way a real and serious business, accusations of spam will not only get you, your company and your domain black-listed, but may also very well land you in court and bankrupt you. In theory I’m fully behind the harsh pursuit of email spam, because for users this is a major nightmare. However, as a marketer and someone who privides email campaing management to small business clients, I’m also fully aware of how intimidating all the regulations are and how easily one can become a spammer, completely unintentional. It is thus important to stay up to date and use a service that does their homework.
Unfortunately even though the laws get stricter and more complicated, we still see a lot of spam messages sent. And some may even argue that the best thing to do is to leave it to the market to regulate. If consumers never click on anything that’s spam, then spamming will become known as completely ineffective and a waste of time and effort. It’s not as easy as that though, because surprisingly data shows that folks DO click even on links inside spam messages. So, for the time being, we should embrace and welcome these laws.
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