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Mastering International Email Deliverability

Kevin Senne
Senior Director of Global Deliverability

If you are sending email marketing messages today, chances are very high that you are sending to at least more than one country. Just because you think that you know the laws, regulations, and best practices in one country, does not mean that they will be the same in others. The email marketing landscape today is a mishmash of different rules and regulations in each country in which you have customers. Understanding those differences is critical to success—and sometimes operational survival.

Experts say that to operate in today’s global environment, marketers need to understand more than just email deliverability in the US. Modern Marketers should at least be aware of the privacy laws and regulations in the countries where they want to deliver email. Knowing how to operate on an international scale is vital, especially when you consider the fact that total worldwide revenues from email will grow to over $12 billion by 2016 and email traffic is estimated to grow to over 192 billion emails sent per day by in the next year.

US-based mailers mistakenly believe that CAN-SPAM is a good base for understanding international email regulations. In reality, CAN-SPAM is one of the least restrictive set of regulations. CAN-SPAM doesn’t have many address collection rules. The stipulations and penalties mostly deal with allowing recipients to opt out. However, many other countries have much stricter laws governing permission and what is necessary for lawful contact. Australia is a great example of a place with dramatically different feelings about permission. The Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) take dramatic steps to prohibit unsolicited emailing. ACMA will take out front page ads in major Australian newspapers to shame violators.

CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) went into effect on July 1, 2014. This law isn’t just for Canadian based senders. CASL has an impact for anyone who communicates with any Canadian residents. The law is certainly a step beyond the US CAN-SPAM law in many respects. The main differences are around the gathering of specific types of permission. CASL contains potentially stiff penalties, including administrative penalties of up to $1 million per violation for individuals and $10 million for corporations (subject to a due diligence defense). Several fines have already been levied in the first year. CASL will eventually set forth a private right of action permitting individuals to bring a civil action for alleged violations of CASL ($200 for each contravention up to a maximum of $1 million each day for a violation of the provisions addressing unsolicited electronic messages).

Understandably, emailing to consumers in China is becoming increasingly important for many marketers. However, marketers must take time to understand the country’s deliverability landscape in order to be successful.

Experts say it’s very important to understand that deliverability success in China is measured in different ways than most senders are familiar with. Open rates are one area that should be measured differently. The global open rates of major ISPs are around 25 percent. However open rates are substantially lower in China. So if you have an open rate of say 12 to 15 percent in China that does not necessarily mean your campaign did not fare well. The regulations and real-world requirements for mailing to Chinese domains are also very different from other regions. The technical requirements and permission standards are much more difficult than global domains such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, and AOL.

There’s so much more to learn about the nuances of Deliverability around the world. Download Email Deliverability: Guide for Modern Marketers today to learn about this and many more relevant Deliverability topics.

Email Deliverability: Guide for Modern Marketers

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