Mass Email Policy
What is CAN-SPAM?
CAN-SPAM is a law passed by Congress to deal with unwanted emails. To comply with the CAN-SPAM act from Congress, Pantano staff is not permitted to use our database to find different types of people, segments, those that meet certain criteria (married, single, older than 30, etc) and send unsolicited mass email. This violates our terms of service for email. In order to send an email from Church Community Builder (CCB), individuals will have had to specifically opt in to receive any and all emails from you sent in mass.
CCB Groups- If an individual signed up for a group, the group leader and/or staff that lead that area have permission to send group email/mass messages.
I’m looking to promote my event for married couples. I search CCB for married couples and send them an email about my event. Aside from Group specific emails, the only permitted way to send mass emails is through MailChimp.
Pantano uses a company called MailChimp to send mass emails. We are only permitted to send emails to our MailChimp groups when they have explicitly stated that they want to receive emails from us about the specific topic.
Your ministry may request new MailChimp email groups and an online sign-up sheet to collect emails. Individuals will need to input their own information and confirm their subscription in a follow-up email. This places all responsibility on individuals to take control of what they receive and don’t receive from us. Individuals can unsubscribe at any time.
When creating MailChimp groups, we set a frequency of email use. Once someone signs up for a list, we are legally bound to that frequency. We have a “contract” with the individual that we will not abuse that email frequency or send them things not pertaining to the email. Most email groups have a 2 times a month or a 1 time a month frequency agreement.
According to the Can-Spam Act Law, subject lines must plainly state the purpose of the email. The simple the better.
The law states that ANY advertisement (of an event, product, speaker, etc) must be marked clearly as an advertisement. Below is an example of how we handle this!
Email Subject: Upcoming Marriage Event
We’d love to tell you about an event that we have coming up here at Pantano. Below you’ll find an advertisement for the event. (Notice we used the word advertisement in the second sentence of the email.)
How do I know if my email comes under the Can-Spam Act Law?
The law states talks about two different types of email use. The first type is Commercial. It is important to note that the law does not include an exception for religious purposes. Therefore, all of our church email excluding personal messages come under commercial status. The second type of email is Transactional or Relationship Content. Below are the official statements regarding these emails from the government.
Commercial content – which advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose
(Remember that as a church, anything we send out promoting our services, times, speakers, paid and free events, etc fit into the commercial content license and are subject to the law.)
Transactional or relationship content – which facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction
(Transactional emails are not advertising, recruiting emails, etc. These emails are personal in nature or have already been agreed upon. For example: Emails sent to Discipleship Groups (Life, Interest, or Care)
MailChimp takes care of satisfying major portions of the law and helps us stay legal. The communications team is fully briefed on this law as well and catches instances where we could be in violation. If you have a question, please feel free to ask our team!
For more information on the law, you can visit the FTC’s website here: