Email Compliance Defined

Email compliance describes the laws and regulations in place to protect private user data and help prevent email scams.

As a business sending email marketing campaigns to your users, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest email compliance laws to avoid paying severe fines.

Email compliance regulations primarily dictate who you’re allowed to email, how your recipients can opt-out, and what information you must include in your emails.

Remember, email compliance is only a small part of a finely-tuned email marketing machine. Looking for one place to implement all other email best practices? The OneSignal Ultimate Guide to Email Optimization lays everything out for you.

How to Use it in a Sentence

Failing to follow your regional email compliance laws won’t only bankrupt your email campaigns, but can also permanently tarnish your brand reputation.

Common Email Compliance FAQs

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union is one of the stricter email compliance frameworks that dictate several regulatory requirements, including user opt in requirements and providing a clear unsubscribe button.

CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) in the United States is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and is slightly more lenient than the GDPR. However, fines are still steep (up to $42,530 per single email in violation) if particular email content requirements are not met.

Read our guide on the full list of email compliance frameworks and requirements.

Email compliance laws vary depending on region, so knowing which regulations apply to your email marketing efforts is necessary if you plan on doing business internationally.

Segmenting your email recipient list by region allows you to learn where most of your subscribers are located and by extension, which email compliance laws you should focus on. Utilizing geographical segmentation also helps you better understand different cultural and linguistic trends to help you tailor your market campaigns for success in different regions.

There are several data protection, privacy, and anti-spam rules in place to ensure the security of consumer data. Generally, email compliance policies address the following common areas:

  • Sender ID’s

  • Opt-in consent

  • Opt-out requirements

  • Request Processing Time

  • Email list record keeping

  • Email body and subject line clarity

  • Required encryption