Using Postal Addresses In Your Emails
By Justin Premick October 10, 2007
Many small business owners hesitate to provide their home address for fear of it getting in the wrong hands. It’s a legit concern to have, but there are several reasons (both legal and strategic) why it is crucial to make sure you have a valid postal address in your emails.
In your email marketing messages to subscribers you should be including a postal address in the signature block of your messages. However, many small business owners hesitate to provide their home address for fear of it getting in the wrong hands.
It’s a legit concern to have, but there are several reasons (both legal and strategic) why it is crucial to make sure you have a valid postal address in your emails. So let’s talk about it…
Why you need a postal address in your emails
Part 1: CAN-SPAM
Let’s start with the legalese. The CAN-SPAM Act requires that a valid physical postal address appear in your emails. If you omit it, you run the risk of being fined up to $40,654 per violation.
Yes, CAN-SPAM is a U.S. law, not a global one. And you may not be in the U.S. However, if you’re working with an email service provider that operates in the U.S., they’re going to require you to abide by it in order to work with them.
Besides, CAN-SPAM isn’t the only (or even the most important) reason to include your address.
Part 2: it’s good business
When developing relationships with customers and prospects through email marketing, it’s important to build trust. Including a postal address in emails helps legitimize you to your subscribers.
The online world gives one a sense of anonymity — you can do a great deal on the Internet without identifying yourself to anyone, and there’s safety in that anonymity.
But how do you trust someone who you know only by something as anonymous as an email address and (perhaps) a website URL? You can’t force them to reply to an email, and if that’s your only way of contacting them when you have a problem or question, you’re stuck. Would you be willing to take that risk as a consumer?
Many people wouldn’t. They want to know there’s a real person available, that they can hold accountable. Your subscribers may not contact you, but the knowledge that they can reassures them.
For that reason (as well as the legal stuff), you really do need to include a postal address.
But it doesn’t have to be your home address!
It just needs to be somewhere that you can receive postal mail. You can use a separate business address, even a P.O. Box.
Being concerned that someone might show up your doorstep is totally valid, and whether you’re working from home or not, there should be a separation between your personal and professional lives. However, using postal addresses in your emails is a necessary component in your email marketing strategy.
Looking for more tips and best practices for your email marketing campaign? Get everything you need to get started with email marketing with the Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing toolkit.