Everyone uses email, but are you sure that you are not sending SPAM to your patients and followers? In this episode Russ and I discuss the FTC guidelines to help you avoid sending SPAM to your email recipients. In past episodes, we have encouraged that you build an email subscriber list and use this list to keep in contact with your followers. We have some EASY to follow tips to ensure that you are not sending spam.
This post corresponds to our latest podcast episode of “Russ and Randy” – a podcast on Healthcare and Medical Internet Marketing. We hope you like “Are You Creating Spam? How to Avoid Spam Filters.”
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Recent episodes of “Russ and Randy” have recommended creation of an email “subscriber” address list for the purpose of communicating new website articles, office news, etc. to your followers.
Your “followers” are existing patients and those who have subscribed to your web site on the Internet. Your subscriber list is collected and stored by a 3rd party “email service provider” such as Mailchimp or aWeber.
The ESP sends an email to those on your list containing a link to the new article on your website.
It is this email, from the ESP, that must be compliant with the FTC to avoid be classified as spam. This email should also avoid spam filters.
FTC Requirements to Avoid Spam
The FTC requires that your email contain the following elements;
- Include a real physical “brick and mortar” address. A P.O. Box will suffice.
- Do not be deceptive in the Header, From or Subject Lines – simply state that the email is coming from your medical practice. Spammers may use a fake name or misrepresent the “subject” of the email, etc.
- You must have a clear “unsubscribe” button on each email.
- “Unsubscribe” link must be working for at least 30 days after the email has been sent.
- An email address must be removed within 10 days of “unsubscribing.”
Most of the requirements are not a concern. Items 3, 4 and 5 are automatically addressed if you use an ESP; so there is no worry on your end. For instance, we favor Mailchimp. Mailchimp has strict compliance parameters and makes it easy for you to comply.
Avoiding the Spam Filters
We (actually Russ) has a few tips on how to avoid getting your email sent to the spam filters. For instance, avoid using anchor text (hyperlinks) such as “click here.” Also, keep your fonts uniform and avoid different colors. Use spell check. Spammers commonly “misspell” known spam keywords, etc. to avoid the filters.
Take a listen to get a few more ways to avoid the spam filters.
See you next week!
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