Email Marketing 2017: Understanding it Rule and Regulation

Currently, in the Digital world, E-mail Marketing is one of the best online marketing methods out there. Thanks to Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) who opened our eyes to the opportunities of email marketing. Gary did the first email Marketing in 1978 and made a whopping sum of $13 million worth of sales in DEC products by just sending out 400 bulk emails to the potential client.

Email Marketing rules and regulations

 Awesome isn't it?

Marketers around the world now leverage this method of marketing to boost sales. However with the continuous advancement of technology and as the world evolves into a full blown digital one, email marketing has evolved from what it was at the time of Gary Thuerk to something much more advanced. 

Now there are so many tools that ease our email marketing campaign. As there are tools for making email marketing easy, there are rules and regulations that make it a little bit hard. 

In this article, we will be looking at those rules and regulations and how to abide by them.

So let's dive in.

We have several laws from different countries that guide the use of email marketing for public advertising purpose.  In the USA it is known as the CAN-SPAM act, Canadians call it CASL laws and in the United Kingdom, it is known as the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations of 2003. All these laws are tackling the same thing which is email spamming.

Now if you are not in this country you might be wondering how these laws affect your email campaigns. Well, this is it.... Most of the email marketing tools which we use such as MailChimp, Drip, Benchmark, Madmimi, Freshmail and many others are probably from either of the countries mentioned above and thus integrate their email regulation laws into the tools which make it difficult for email marketers from other countries to send out email successfully.

So What Are these Laws and How do We Comply?

  •  Ensure you have permission to email the people on your list: Many countries require s that you get permission from the people on your list before sending them emails. This is why many companies use lead generating forms or embed signup forms on their website landing page to get emails from an interesting prospect. Now when it comes to permission we have the Implied permission and the express permission.
  • Implied impression is what many business organisation uses. This covers anybody who you have an existing business relationship with. This could also covers those email list which you have piled up for marketing purpose not using signup or lead generation forms. 
  • Express impression on the other hand is granted when someone specifically gives you a go ahead to send them email by filling your lead generation forms or signup forms on your website. 
  • Using Misleading headline: Email marketing law says that you must not make use of misleading information as a means of trying to trick people into opening your email campaigns. Your headline is the extra information that accompanies your email campaign such as from name, subject line and reply address. 
To comply with this law include your company name to let people know who the email is from make use of a heading that tells people what to expect in the content.
  • Identify your Email as an advertisement: According to the United State email regulation (CAN-SPAM act), you must clearly disclose that your email is an advertisement. Since most of the email marketing tools are from the US you need to adhere to this law. However, this does not necessarily mean that your message headline as to carry the word advertisement on it. something like this "20% off all Yeezy sneakers" gives us an idea of what to expect from the mail.
  •  Include Your Address: Of course, you already know this is necessary as your prospect might not respond to the email directly but will one to come in-person. You must include your organisation current address, post box address or a commercial mail-receiving company.
  • Opt out or Unsubscribe option: when creating an email do not forget to include the unsubscribe option also known as the opt-out. Many countries law regarding email marketing stipulates that email campaigns must include a clear option for receivers to opt out from in the future and this option must be easy to recognise and understand. 
  • Honor customers unsubscribe request: it is st8pulated by US email laws that a request to opt out from receiving emails must be respected and effected within 10 days. It says you can't charge them any fee or send them somewhere else other than sending an email reply or visiting a single page on your website to opt out.


  • Spam Report Rate: This is the rate at which your email campaign is marked as spam. For example, you send out 1000 emails. If one is marked as spam you get a report. However, report more than 1 should be monitored.
  • Blacklist: this is a list of spammers IP addresses. If your IP has been marked as spam many times, it will be blacklisted.
  • Bounce rate: this refers to undelivered emails. It can come as a result of invalid emails, incorrect email addresses, blocked emails, full mail box, unavailability of the server.
  • Bulk mail: this refers to sending a mail to a lot of email addresses.
  • CAN SPAM: Controlling Assault Of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Acts of 2003. It is the rules and regulation that governs the use of email marketing in the US.
  • Click through rate(CTR): this refers to the number of clicks you got from your email campaign divided by the total number of recipient emails.
  • Conversation rate: this refers to the percentage taking on your email campaign call to action by individuals who received it.
  • Dedicated IP: your unique IP address used in sending email campaigns.
  • Double Opt-in: this is the process by which subscribers have to confirm they're opt in by clicking a confirmation link.
  • False positive: refers to an email that was falsely classified as spam.
  • Honey Pot: a dedicated email address used to identify spammers
  • Html emails: this is emails built with HTML markup language. They are used for designing email campaign templates.
  • IP Warmup: Building the reputation of an IP address by sending large number of responsible emails
  • Open rate: this refers to the amount of opened emails of the total number of emails sent in a campaign.
  • Opt-in /Subscribe: this refers to the permission given by individuals to receive emails by supplying their emails through subscription forms.
  • Opt-out/Unsubscribe: this refers to when an individual request to stop receiving emails from you. This request must be honoured within 10 days.
  • Plain text email: this type of email does not have the well-designed template and consist of text and is easier to read.
  • Shared IP: this is a single address shared by many people for an email campaign. It is considered cheaper.
  • Signature File: this is the brand symbol, normally a text of the person or company sending the emails. It is normally located at the bottom of every email.
  • Spam: this is unsolicited sending of commercial mail to a list. It is considered illegal as the people on your list didn't give you permission to send them mail.
  • Spam cop: this is an email service that monitors spamming by planting their emails to someone who has not given permission to receive such emails.
  • Spam trap: this is a trap set to catch spammers. It is an email address planted as a trap.
  • White-List: this is an approved and certified IP address for sending commercial emails. it is the opposite of Black-list.