194. 4 Legal Musts for Your Email List

4 Legal Musts for Your Email List

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Are you worried about the legal aspects of your email marketing? You’re not alone. As an online coach or service provider, it’s crucial to navigate the legalities of email communication. I’m here to share some straightforward tips that will help you send emails that are not just effective but also legally compliant. Let’s dive into these easy-to-implement strategies that can save you from legal headaches and keep your email marketing on the right track.

4 Legal Musts for Your Email List

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • The importance of including an unsubscribe link in your emails for legal compliance and list health.
  • Why having a valid mailing address in your emails is crucial for adhering to laws like the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
  • The significance of displaying your business name in emails to separate personal and professional communication.
  • The necessity of obtaining consent for email marketing, ensuring content relevance and legal adherence.

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Make it Easy for People to Unsubscribe

First up, the unsubscribe link. This little feature is a legal must-have in every email you send. But it’s not just about following the law; it’s about respecting your audience’s choices. An accessible unsubscribe link helps maintain a healthy relationship with your email list, ensuring that your content reaches those genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Plus, it keeps your deliverability rates in good standing.

Why You Need to Include a Valid Mailing Address

Next, let’s talk about including a valid mailing address in your emails. This is more than just a formality; it’s a requirement under laws like the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Whether it’s your home, office, or a P.O. box, a visible mailing address adds credibility to your business and assures your subscribers that you’re a legitimate entity.

Clearly Display Your Business Name

Displaying your business name in your emails is crucial. It clearly separates your personal and professional communications and serves as a layer of protection for your personal assets. This simple practice reinforces the professional nature of your emails and helps establish trust with your audience.

The Critical Role of Consent in Email Marketing

Finally, let’s delve into the crucial aspect of gaining consent for your emails. This step is not just a legal formality; it’s the foundation of trust and respect in your relationship with your audience. You must ensure that every person on your email list has explicitly agreed to receive your emails. This means sending content that aligns with what they’ve signed up for, thus upholding both legal standards and ethical marketing practices. Gaining consent isn’t just about avoiding legal pitfalls; it’s about nurturing a genuinely interested and engaged audience, leading to more effective and meaningful email campaigns.

Legal compliance in email marketing isn’t just about avoiding fines; it’s about building trust and credibility with your audience. By incorporating these tips into your email strategy, you’re not just complying with the law; you’re also respecting and valuing your subscribers. Remember, these tips are just the starting point. For more detailed guidance and legal resources, don’t forget to check out my Ultimate Bundle® program and website for more insights.

Download Episode Transcript

Sam Vander Wielen:
Hey there, and welcome to this super quick training all about four easy tips that you can implement right away to make sure that you’re sending legally legit emails.

So, I get a lot of questions from you guys about what you need to have in your emails, what you need to have in your email service, whether you use MailChimp or ConvertKit, AWeber, or anything similar, and you want to make sure that you’re sending emails legally because you might have heard of some email laws, like in the United States, the CAN-SPAM Act, or the GDPR from the European Union, that require you to send emails in a legal way, because otherwise you can actually face hefty fines. And those hefty fines are not just meant for big, big companies. They can also be for small companies if you don’t do a couple of things the right way.

However, it is super, super easy to make sure that you’re sending legally legit emails, so I thought today I’d share with you the four biggest and fastest tips to make sure that you are sending legally legit emails so that we can avoid any of those concerns about hefty fees and fines and make sure that people don’t complain about you to your email service because that affects your deliverability rate.

So, with that, in case we haven’t met already, I’m Sam Vander Wielen, attorney turned entrepreneur, and I help online coaches and service providers legally protect and grow their online businesses using my DIY legal templates and my Ultimate Bundle program. And in that Ultimate Bundle program, one of the things that I teach people is how to properly, not only set up their email marketing system, but also make sure they’re sending legally legit emails.

So, with that, let’s hop into tip number one. This one is pretty obvious. You probably know this already. But tip number one is about making sure that you have that unsubscribe link at the bottom of every single email that you send to your email list. Now, it’s not just about having that unsubscribe button. It’s also about making sure that it actually works.

So, although, you don’t need to be like hawk eyeing your email list all the time and making sure that every single person who requests to unsubscribe is unsubscribed, if a problem comes to your attention, you find out that somebody has been unsubscribing from your email list but they’re still receiving it or if you see that people are complaining about your emails to your email service, then that would be cause for concern and that would be something that you would look into.

You would probably just coordinate with ConvertKit or MailChimp or whoever that you’re using to make sure that they are actually unsubscribing. This is also a good argument for why you actually use an email service and don’t try to build an email list and send out an email independently on your own because it would just be too hard to keep track of. So, make sure that you have that unsubscribe link. Make sure that it actually works.

And I wanted to give you a little bonus tip with this one. One thing that I think is really helpful is that when you’re sending out emails to people that you make sure that the unsubscribe link is at the bottom, you can give a little context that says like, "Hey, wondering why you’re receiving this email? It’s probably because you signed up for my -" maybe the name of your freebie, or "- you’ve signed up for my freebie, or we’ve worked together," or something like that "- but you can go ahead and unsubscribe here," and then have that little link to unsubscribe. But I think that it’s helpful sometimes to give people context, just because people do sign up for a lot of emails, and they might initially be like, "I never signed up for this." But then, when you give them some context as to how they did sign up for it, it might ease their concerns. So, I think that that’s always helpful. Okay. So, that’s tip number one, the unsubscribe.

Two is having a working mailing address for your business. So, this does not have to be the mailing address that you use to register your business or something like that. It just has to be a place where your business can receive business mail. So, whether that’s your home, if you feel comfortable doing that. If you have an office space, obviously you can use that. A lot of people use a P.O. Box, that’s what I do for this purpose because my email list is going out to thousands and thousands of people so I don’t necessarily want my address there. So, a P.O. Box, you can get a similar type box at a UPS or FedEx store. Some people who work at co-working spaces can use those as mailing addresses. Whatever works for you, it just needs to be a working mailing address. Don’t make the address 123 Fake Street. That is a cause for alarm when it comes to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and you can face hefty fines for that.

Okay. Tip number three is to have your business name there as well. So, if you’ve watched any of my legal trainings in the past, you know I’m a big advocate for making sure that you do everything in the name of your business because that’s how ultimately we protect you as a person. So, when we register our businesses, we form our businesses, maybe create an LLC, the whole point of doing so is that we separate you and your business so that we keep you and your personal assets, anything that your personal name is attached to, like a bank account, your house, a car, something like that, a boat maybe, we want to keep that separate.

And what I’m always talking about is making sure that we are actively taking steps every day in our business, in our contracts, on our website, and now in our emails to make sure that people know that these emails are being sent on behalf of your business and not on behalf of you personally.
This isn’t like your personal email, personal blog. So, having your little copyright symbol at the bottom with the copyright, the year, and your business name, maybe just including your business name at the bottom, something like that. And if you’ve registered an LLC, having that LLC moniker. So, mine would say Sam Vander Wielen LLC there on the bottom of the email to make it clear that this is coming from my business and not from me.

Okay. Last but definitely not least, the fourth and final tip here for making sure you send legally legit emails is making sure that you’re only sending them to people who actually asked for them. So, we’re not sending emails to people who randomly emailed us one day or somebody you met at a conference or whatever. I sometimes end up on people’s email list where I’m like, "I did not sign up for this at all." And then, I realized I had a very tangential interaction with them and they threw me on my their email list and that is not okay. It instantly puts a bad taste in my mouth. So, we want to make sure that we are sending these emails only to people who have asked to receive them, and then we’re making sure because of tip number one, they can get out of it if they want to. And we are also only emailing them content that they’ve asked for as well.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about other things in your business. Like I sell legal templates, but I email out business tips, behind the scenes, personal stories, stories about my journey leaving the law and becoming an online entrepreneur, that’s okay. But it wouldn’t be okay if I all of a sudden started emailing everybody on my email list who signed up to hear about legal tips and business stuff and behind the scenes about vitamins. If I started telling them you guys have to buy this vitamin, first of all, it’s outside my scope of practice, I’m not qualified to be giving that kind of advice, but it’s also not what they signed up for. So, you want to, generally speaking, stay within your categories and you want to talk about what you can talk about in your email list.

So, just to review, that’s the unsubscribe button, number one. Two is having a working mailing address for your business at the bottom of your email. Three is having your full business name at the bottom of your email. And four is sending this email only to those who have asked for it and staying within the content scope that people have signed up for.

If you want to learn more about making sure that you’re not only sending legally legit emails, but you’re sending legally legit contracts, you’re forming your business properly and protecting your content, getting paid, growing your business, and scaling your legally legit empire – as I call it – then I invite you to learn more about my Ultimate Bundle Program. That is where I offer you ten of my most essential DIY legal templates, like all the contracts and website policies you need, plus access to 23 on demand video trainings about everything I just mentioned, including email marketing. So, I do teach you inside of the Ultimate Bundle much more in depth how to go through and make sure that you’re setting up your email list properly, you’re taking people onto your email list properly so that you don’t end up in any legal hot water. And, of course, there is a GDPR training there to teach you exactly how to set up the GDPR email and the consent that you need in making sure that you have all the steps in place to legally protect your business. So, you can head to samvanderwielen.com, my website, to learn more or join my Ultimate Bundle. You can also browse and shop my DIY legal templates a la carte. Thanks, guys. I’ll see you later.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.


  • Check out the Ultimate Bundle® –  my signature program that includes 10 essential DIY legal templates + 35 on demand video trainings


  • Read Sam’s Blog for the latest legal tips, podcast episodes & behind the scenes of building her seven-figure business.
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  • Kajabi // use Kajabi to sell your course, program, or even build your entire website. Get a 30-day free trial with my link.
  • SamCart // what I use for my checkout pages and payment processing and LOVE. And no, not because it’s my name.
  • ConvertKit // what I use to build my email list, send emails to my list, and create opt-in forms & pages

DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and does not intend to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

© 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC | All Rights Reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Sam Vander Wielen LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free or paid, written or verbal), product, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Sam Vander Wielen LLC.

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