Cold Emailing in Compliance with CAN-SPAM

How to maintain a strong sender reputation and delivery when cold emailing

As long as one follows the guidelines outlined by the relevant regulations, cold emailing is completely lawful. The CAN-SPAM Act, which establishes guidelines for sending commercial emails in the USA, is one of the original rules of this kind.

The laws outlined in the act go beyond simple formalities that must be followed. Actually, by adhering to and following these guidelines, cold emails will only improve, become more prospect-focused, and seem more like something recipients will enjoy receiving.

What does CAN-SPAM stand for?

The CAN-SPAM Act went into effect back in 2003 after the U.S. government decided to finally establish guidelines for sending commercial emails in response to the rapid growth of email communication and an increasing amount of unwanted messages flooding people's mailboxes.

The full name of the act, Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, inspired the abbreviation CAN-SPAM. Can (to stop) spam also happens to be an unintentional, yet smart and pertinent wordplay.

Ok, but why should I give a damn? -- You may be saying, "I'm not a spammer. I merely want to establish fresh professional connections. Should I follow CAN-SPAM guidelines when sending emails?

Does the CAN-SPAM act apply to senders of unsolicited emails?

All promotional emails that aren't transactional or relationship-related are covered under the statute. Well, even if you don't pitch directly after "Hi," which is a big no-no, you're still sending a message to someone who has never interacted with you before and who hasn't given their consent to hearing it. B2B emails are not exempt from the law.

It's best to abide by the CAN-SPAM Act if you send cold emails to potential customers from the USA. Be aware that the statute does not outlaw sending unsolicited emails. Cold email must, nevertheless, adhere to a number of requirements in order to be considered compliant.

How can CAN-SPAM compliantly write cold emails?

Avoid using deceptive topic lines.

The act prohibits anything that is clickbait-style or misleading to the receiver. This includes subject lines like "Your business is in peril" or "You're a winner." They may catch your attention, but after reading one of these emails, you discover that it was utterly not what you were anticipating. You experience fraud.

Because of this, the subject line of your cold email ought to precisely reflect the content of the message or at the very least be logically related to it. For the benefit of your prospective customers as well as the CAN-SPAM Act. How can they assume that you are a reputable company if you immediately damaged their trust?

It could be tempting to use a click-bait topic line. In the end, the goal is to pique the prospect's curiosity. But the best way to do it isn't by using clickbait to entice them.

Instead, use a subject line as a chance to engage your prospects in dialogue. similar to a door lock key. You won't get very far by banging on or kicking your prospects' doors. That is what it looks like to use clickbait and deceptive subject lines.

How can I create a strong subject line that complies with CAN-SPAM?

Make it pertinent.

You must first learn more about the lock, or the prospects, in order to find the proper key. Learn about the problems they encounter and their business needs. Find out what matters to them. And when writing your subject line, employ this knowledge.

Consider the product to be a tool for task management. Product managers that wish to find a better approach to set up their team's workload are your target audience. There is a more effective approach to remaining on top of your team's tasks, as demonstrated by the following subject line example. It is not only pertinent but also highly fascinating. And not at all clickbait.

Make it personal

Your message will be even more relevant if the subject line includes the name of your prospect or the name of their business. The email will appear to have been sent only to this one individual as a result. as opposed to the generic, impersonal, bulk-sent SPAM that clogs their inboxes.

It's simple to manually personalize a few emails, but what if you want to send out Hubspot cold emails on a larger scale? Manual labor would take a very long time. However, you may scale up the personalization of email content and subject lines using mail merge fields, often known as snippets. The email editors of the majority of cold email automation solutions, such as Woodpecker, Mailshake, or Reply, already provide this feature.

Want to scale up your outbound lead generating, {First Name}?" reads the subject line. "Jim, would you like to increase your outbound lead generation?" or "want to increase Teresa's outbound lead generation?" will now appear in Jim's inbox in your email editor. when a snippet has been inserted and Teresa gets the same message. This certainly makes things easier, doesn't it?

Keep in mind that you are writing to an individual.

Make sure your subject line is natural-sounding, much like in a typical email to a friend or colleague. Do not forget that the purpose of your email is to initiate a dialogue, not to make a pitch or a promotional offer. Avoid using the title case, emoticons, exclamation points, or any other common marketing email formatting.

Once more, employing one of the well-liked tools for example HubSpot cold emailing gives you the chance to improve your subject line by including a personal touch. In the end, it improves your chances of hearing back.

Ascertain the accuracy of your "from" line.

The CAN-SPAM Act stipulates that the addressee must be able to recognize you from the header information alone. Your "from" line should clearly identify you, such as "Meg from Woodpecker" rather than "Content Marketing Specialist from Woodpecker," in my case. Don't you think the latter is silly in any case?

Give your recipients a quick way to unsubscribe.

The CAN-SPAM Act mandates that any B2B email with a commercial offer must give the recipient the option to unsubscribe from subsequent correspondence at any time. The "unsubscribe" option may be found in all marketing newsletters because of this.

But in the context of cold emailing, "unsubscribe" doesn't entirely suit. Prospects did not sign up to receive your emails. It would be absurd and confusing for the recipient of your Hubspot cold email to include an "unsubscribe" link at the end of the message.

The question is, how can you give your customers a method to opt out without using the phrase "unsubscribe"?

Your message should end with a disclaimer. There's no need to utilize complicated legalese. Make sure it is clear, easy to understand, and not in tiny, difficult-to-read print. Just a quick "P.S. If you don't want me to contact you again, let me know" or "If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, kindly reply with "Opt-out"." I'm done now.

Oh, and if someone chooses to opt out, respect their decision and stop sending them emails. That's another prerequisite you must fulfill in order to comply with CAN-SPAM.

Include the address of your business.

You should inform potential prospects of the location of your company's office in accordance with the CAN-SPAM Act. For that, your email signature is the ideal place.

Additionally, your company's credibility is enhanced by this. You're not faking it. Or just a completely made-up business. You actually work out of an office somewhere in the world. It is much more vital to let them know your business is nearby if you are a service provider targeting local prospects.


I hope this piece has provided more information on how to send cold emails that are compliant with CAN-SPAM. In reality, all you need to do is adopt a recipient-oriented mindset and concentrate on establishing rapport with your prospects. Make it the cornerstone of all your cold emailing campaigns, and you'll not only stay in compliance with CAN-SPAM rules (as well as many other international laws) but also produce emails that prospects will genuinely look forward to receiving.

Last but not least, please remember that this is not legal advice since I am not an attorney. The Federal Trade Commission, the official source, has created a handbook in case you wish to learn more about the CAN-SPAM act's obligations.

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