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How email marketing footers help with CAN-SPAM compliance

How email marketing footers help with CAN-SPAM compliance

Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching patients and marketing your healthcare organization. Along with HIPAA, healthcare email marketing must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. 

In this article, we'll discuss the basics of CAN-SPAM and focus on the importance of the footer in your Paubox Marketing emails, along with specific tips and best practices to help you stay compliant.

Related:  HIPAA Compliant Email: The Definitive Guide 


What is CAN-SPAM?

The CAN-SPAM Act regulates commercial email messages in the United States to give recipients control over the messages they receive and prevent fraudulent and deceptive practices. Email marketers must follow several rules and regulations to comply with the Act, including accurate header information, clear identification of the message as an advertisement, and a clear and conspicuous opt-out mechanism.


CAN-SPAM compliance in the email footer

The footer of an email marketing email is a crucial component of CAN-SPAM compliance, where several elements required by the Act, such as the physical address requirement and the unsubscribe requirement, occur.

To make the footer of your email marketing email beneficial, consider the following tips:


The unsubscribe

The footer of an email is the go-to place for recipients to find the all-important unsubscribe link. Not only is including the option to opt-out a legal requirement, but it also reduces the risk of your message being marked as spam. By making the unsubscribe process quick and easy, recipients are less likely to hit that dreaded spam button. So, don't try to hide the unsubscribe link in an obscure location - keep it easy-to-find in the footer.


Include a physical address: 

The CAN-SPAM Act requires commercial email messages to include a valid physical postal address where the sender can be contacted. To comply with this requirement, use a physical business address or a P.O. box registered with a commercial mail-receiving agency. To be safe, include:

  • Business name
  • Company street address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip


The physical address requirement plays two roles in CAN-SPAM compliance:

  1. Validates the business as a real entity
  2. Allows for recipients to write and request removal from email lists - a possibly apocryphal reasoning but people do indeed still write letters and mail legal documents.


Provide additional contact information: 

Include additional contact information in the footer of your email, such as a phone number or email address. This provides an additional way for recipients to contact you and can help build trust with your audience.


Keep the design clear: 

Use appropriate colors, fonts, and formatting to make the footer visually appealing and easy to navigate. While this seems obvious, some bad actors include their address and opt-out links but make it difficult to read with tiny text or overly-light font colors. Your footer must be readable to comply with CAN-SPAM regulations.


Keep it simple: 

While it's essential to include all the required elements in the footer of your email, keep the footer simple and concise to avoid distracting from the central message of your email.


Make it work for you: 

The footer can be more than a regulatory burden. Add your business contact information like phone number, an additional call to action, or even customer-centric messaging to make it work for you. 

Following these suggestions will help email marketers ensure their HIPAA compliant email campaigns also comply with the CAN-SPAM Act's legal requirements and establish trust with their audience. It's more than a footer. It's a trust builder, a legal requirement, and an opportunity. 

RelatedHow to send HIPAA compliant emails


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