5 Regulations Every Marketer Should Be Aware Of

** This article is not intended to be legal advice **

Businesses have to interact with many parties to accomplish their goals. For instance, marketers are responsible for creating brand awareness to attract potential customers. However, how you communicate or use the data you collect is subject to various state, federal, and international regulations.

This post focuses on five vital regulations that may affect your marketing efforts. Why do these rules exist? How can you stay compliant, and what can happen if you are in violation? Read on to get the answers.

The CAN-SPAM Act covers all commercial advertisements and promotions sent via email.

The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act

Most businesses use email for official communication and marketing. According to research, almost 90 percent of marketers use email to broadcast content organically. Over 80 percent of small businesses take email marketing as the primary customer acquisition method.

However, many digital marketers are not conversant with the CAN-SPAM Act, which defines how you should approach email recipients. It protects individuals from unsolicited emails from businesses and brands.

CAN-SPAM Act Compliance

The CAN-SPAM Act has seven main requirements. To keep your business compliant, follow the following guidelines:

  • Use Accurate Header Information

Your marketing email should vividly identify your business in the 'From' and 'Reply to' fields as well as routing information. The sender's email address and the originating domain name must be accurate to identify the individual or business that sent the email.

  • Create Honest Subject Lines

Don't lure people into opening your messages by using deceptive or misleading subject lines. The subject line must reflect the content of the email.

  • Identify the Email as an Ad

The CAN-SPAM ACT requires you to disclose your marketing or promotional emails as advertisements conspicuously. There's leeway in how to do it, not necessarily on the subject line.

  • Indicate Your Location

Business emails should also bear your current physical postal address. It can be the post office box you have registered with the USPS or your street address. It can also be a private mailbox registered with a recognized commercial mail receiving agency.

  • Provide an Opt-Out Method

Some of your contacts will want to unsubscribe from your marketing emails at some point. The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to provide email recipients with clear instructions on how to opt-out of receiving your emails. You can create a menu that allows users to choose the types of emails they don't want, but there should be an option to stop all your commercial messages.

  • Honor Opt-Out Requests Quickly

Your opt-out mechanism should process requests to stop receiving emails within ten business days. You can't charge the users or require them to take any other step besides confirming their intention to exit. Further, you can't sell their email addresses, but you can transfer them to a company you have outsourced to help with CAN-SPAM Act compliance.

  • Monitor Your Partners and Vendors

Even if you hire a third-party to handle your email marketing, you retain the legal responsibility to comply with the law. Insist that the agency sends you a copy of marketing emails for approval before releasing them.

Fine for Noncompliace

The CAN-SPAM Act covers all commercial advertisements and promotions sent via email. These include messages that promote content on business websites. The Federal Trade Commission spells out harsh penalties for noncompliance. Each separate violation gets a fine of about $43,792.

The government created TCPA to address consumer concerns about telemarketing.

Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Another popular digital marketing method is telemarketing. It involves a salesperson soliciting potential customers to buy products or services over the phone or web-based channels.

The government created TCPA to address consumer concerns about telemarketing. The act sets the guidelines for telemarketing based on consumer complaints to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It places some restrictions on the use of various telemarketing devices and practices.

TCPA Requirements

If you are a telemarketer or solicitor, adhere to the following rules:

  • Don't call residences using recorded or artificial voice (robocalls)
  • Avoid calling homes outside the period between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time
  • Don't make automated calls or use prerecorded or artificial voice when calling emergency lines, doctors' offices, cell phones, or recipients who pay for the call
  • Provide your name and the identity, address, or phone number of the person or entity you are representing
  • Never auto-dial two or more lines of the same business
  • Refrain from sending unsolicited advertising content through fax
  • Maintain a do-not-call list of people who don't want your calls and honor it for five years

The FCC revised TCPA rules in 2012 to require telemarketers to obtain written consent before robocalling consumers. Callers cannot take advantage of established business relationships to avoid seeking permission. Telemarketers must also provide an automated and interactive 'opt-out' mechanism for every robocall.

Penalty for TCPA Violations

The FCC prescribes penalties of up to $500 for one TCPA violation. The fine for a willful infringement can be as high as $1500. Since there is no cap on statutory damages, penalties for multiple violations can quickly proliferate.

GDPR requires organizations to gather personal data under strict conditions and protect it from misuse and exploitation.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Almost every service or transaction involves data collection and analysis. On many occasions, unauthorized persons have accessed, stolen, or misused data.

GDPR requires organizations to gather personal data under strict conditions and protect it from misuse and exploitation. They must also honor the rights of data owners.

Personal data includes names, bank details, addresses, race, religion, and mental and physical characteristics. It also incorporates anything that can identify an individual, like mobile device IDs, contacts, IP addresses, web cookies, etc.

GDPR Compliance

Organizations must observe several rights of data owners to remain compliant with GDPR. They include the right to:

  • Know where personal data is being processed
  • Rectification when data is inaccurate
  • Erasure or be forgotten
  • Limit the processing of personal data
  • Know about any actions performed on their data
  • Object data processing
  • Not be profiled based on processed data

While GDPR originated in the EU, it affects many businesses outside the region. It applies to all EU-based organizations and any company outside of the EU but serves EU customers or entities. That means that virtually all corporations with an international outreach need to comply with GDPR.

Fines for GDPR Infringement

GDPR fines come in two tiers. Less severe violations attract a fine of whichever is higher between up to €10 million and two percent of a firm's income in the preceding year. Serious infringements mean a penalty of up four percent of a company's global revenue in the previous year or up to €20 million, whichever is more.

All businesses serving California whose annual revenue is at least $25 million must comply with CCPA

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

CCPA is a California regulation that seeks to increase transparency in how organizations collect and use consumer data. Consumers can sue businesses that contravene the CCPA guidelines even when there is no breach.

All businesses serving California whose annual revenue is at least $25 million must comply with CCPA. The law also includes companies with personal data on 50,000 people and those collecting at least half their revenue from selling personal data.

Complying with CCPA

According to CCPA, data subjects can require businesses to disclose the personal data they have gathered, used, shared, or sold. They can demand to know the reasons for the above actions. Additionally, they have the right to delete or stop the sale of information about them.

Follow the procedure below to keep your organization CCPA-compliant:

  1. Locate all personal information and check its access permissions to assess the security risk.
  2. Check the rarely-accessed folders for any stale personal data.
  3. Delete or archive stale personal data to minimize CCPA noncompliance risk.
  4. Apply role-based access controls to ensure data is only accessible on a need-to-know basis.
  5. Automate data monitoring to thwart intrusion and unauthorized access proactively.
  6. Review data access permissions continually to maintain security and privacy.

Tip: The same routine can work for GDPR compliance.

CCPA Violation Penalty

If the regulatory body notifies you that you have infringed CCPA, you must resolve the underlying issues within 30 days. Staying uncompliant after the period can have you fined $7,500 per record. The total amount can be enormous considering the number of files an average business holds.

TRACED Act requires voice providers to implement SHAKEN/STIR at no extra cost to consumers

Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (Traced Act)

Congress passed the Traced Act in 2019 to regulate unsolicited telemarketing and robocalls. It protects consumers against unwanted and potentially deceiving solicitation by telemarketers and spammers via phone calls and text messages.

TRACED Act requires voice providers to implement SHAKEN/STIR at no extra cost to consumers. The number-authentication system validates calls passing through complex networks to allow telecommunications companies to verify caller IDs. The move decreases spoofed phone calls, which many spammers use to scam the public.

The new law provides more avenues to go after robocalls and increases penalties for offenders. It extends the statute of limitations to four years to give law enforcers ample time to crack down on bad actors.

Traced Act Infringement: What Happens?

The FCC can levy penalties of up to $10,000 for every unsolicited telemarketing call. Additionally, the body can charge entities or individuals without FCC licenses up to $20,489 per violation.

Marketing Free of Regulatory Risk

Do you use emails, SMS, and voice calls in marketing? Sendlio can help you automate your marketing campaigns for quicker results with a lower regulatory risk. The tool uses intelligent blacklisting to minimize bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes.

Book a demo to see how Sendlio works.


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