When you’re used to sending emails person to person, nothing could be more straightforward. But when you’re representing a business – even if that business is just you – things get a bit trickier. In this short episode, I’m going to share with you four tips you can implement right away in order to ensure the emails you’re sending on behalf of your business are legally legit.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- Why you need to send emails legally
- Making sure you have an unsubscribe link
- Having a mailing address for your business
- Including your business name
- Only sending emails to people that want them
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Tip #1: Allow People to Unsubscribe
When you’re sending emails for your business, you need to make sure people have properly signed up for what you’re sending them. That also means that if someone is getting emails and they want them to stop, you need to make unsubscribing easy and accessible from every message you send. On top of that, the process needs to actually work. It can be helpful to give some context to why people are getting your emails before the unsubscribe link just in case and mitigate some accidental unsubscribers.
Tip #2: Have a Mailing Address Tied to Your Business
Part of what tells the powers that be that your business is legit is having a physical mailing address. This doesn’t have to be your home address – mine isn’t – but it does have to be a physical location where you can receive mail. PO boxes or office spaces work great! Just don’t try and play the system by using a fake address as this will come back to haunt you later.
Tip #3: Include Your Business Name in Your Emails
I’m a big advocate for doing everything in your business in the name of your business. This is the best way to protect you as a person independent of your business. The whole point of registering your business is to create a layer of separation between your personal assets and your business, and you should be taking active steps to ensure people know the difference as well.
Tip #4: Only Send Emails to People Who Asked for Them
Right in line with making it easy to unsubscribe is making sure that you aren’t signing people up without their permission. You probably have access to people’s email addresses, maybe even some people who would be interested in your business. But you can’t just add them to your mailing list without giving them a chance to opt in or out of your messages.
If you want to learn even more about how to keep your business legally legit, check out The Ultimate Bundle™ to get ten of my most essential DIY legal templates, all of the contracts and website policies you need, plus access to 23 on-demand training videos.
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- 00:39 – Why you need to send emails legally
- 02:14 – Making sure you have an unsubscribe link
- 05:59 – Having a mailing address for your business
- 06:57 – Including your business name
- 08:14 – Only sending emails to people that want them
If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!
Margo: [00:00:10] Welcome back to another episode of On Your Terms with Sam Vander Wielen. This is Sam’s Marketing Manager, Margo, here to tell you that today we’re bringing you an amazing episode with Sam from our Content Archives at Sam Vander Wielen LLC. We hope you enjoy this short and sweet episode and we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled programming of On Your Terms in a few weeks once Sam is back from her time away. Enjoy the episode.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:39] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:59] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:26] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:48] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:14] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:35] So, although you don’t need to be 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:02] 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 and make sure that it actually works.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:28] 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 when 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:56] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:17] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea, by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally and then get in trouble, or your business is growing and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:40] I don’t want you to live in fear of the internet police coming after you and your business. But you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated, wild, wild west online, that is very much not the case.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:57] As an attorney turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules. There are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take. And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up and following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:13] I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water. But you do need to dot your legal i’s and cross your t’s in a few key areas that can’t be skipped. That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:43] This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business. So, head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:59] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:21] 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, P.O. Box, you can get a similar type box at, like, 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 like 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:57] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:12] 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, or something like that, boat maybe, we want to keep that separate.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:33] And what I’m always talking about is making sure that we are actively taking steps everyday in our business, in our contracts, in 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, the copyright, the year, and your business name, maybe just including your business name at the bottom, something like that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:02] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:14] 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, like, 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 their email list and that is not okay. It instantly puts a bad taste in my mouth.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:46] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:01] 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 of leaving the law and becoming an online entrepreneur. That’s okay.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:16] 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 like, “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, sit within your categories and you want to talk about what you can talk about in your email list.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:46] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:05] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:36] 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 and making sure that you have all the steps in place to legally protect your business.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:01] 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.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:15] 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 dime to say hi.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:54] 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.
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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 isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.
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