Written by Reginald Chan on December 30, 2020

Rules When Advertising and Marketing on the Internet

Marketing has become rampant in today’s time. With exceptional growth in business industries, product competition has never become this heated. The game of advertising has officially stepped into a new level of complexity. 

But of course, like all things, business marketing is not some free pass to do as we wish. It too follows a set of rules that every business must understand and obey. Creative marketing should remain ethical. Engaging in deceptive and unfair product advertisements could lead a company to grave consequences. 

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission or FTC is a federal agency established in the early 19th century solely for consumer rights protections. It ensures a free and fair marketing environment for consumers and producers alike. 

The FTC has released various guidelines for the sake of the market consumers. It aims to provide a just trading environment free from fraudulent and illegal purchases. There are many things to consider for legal business conventions, such company liabilities and the likes.

Truth in Advertising

The rule is simple. If an offer seems too good to be true, you can bet that it probably is. FTC requires all businesses to be truthful about their product advertisements. False claims or product deception is a big no-no under this rule. Online promotion of any product or service should be attractive to potential customers with information consensus to the truth. Hence, anything you sell should be of a market standard. 

Online Advertising Disclosures

An advertising disclosure ensures that any product promotion presents only accurate information. In line with this, all product advertisements require disclosures to prevent misconceptions. This rule entails these product declarations to be distinct and authentic. They should also be in a significant section of a company’s ad. 

CAN-SPAM Act

Also known as Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003. This rule provides email specifications for direct advertising. For example, businesses that use email as a commercial tool to send newsletters or updates need a valid mailing address for the established company. We will discuss more of this in the following segment.

Failure to abide by these rules would subject companies to receive penalties from the federal. FTC attorney Nick Oberheiden, one of many legal practitioners that handle consumer rights violations, takes cases of deceptive commercial practices seriously.

Internet Marketing Rules for Email Promotions

Direct marketing is one of the best choices for product promotion. Not only does it encourage direct customer engagement, but it also provides a personal connection between the market and its consumer. Sending out emails to promote your business is a brilliant strategy. 

The CAN-SPAM Act (mentioned above) sets a list of guidelines to help your company achieve its desired goal, guilt-free. It is a common practice for businesses to hire third-party services to send out company marketing emails. However, it is still your legal responsibility to ensure whether this third-party service is abiding by the law. 

Here is a portion of the list of things that companies should keep in mind when sending out promotional emails.

Identification

When sending out product promotion emails, companies must identify themselves accordingly. This rule means that it prohibits any information in the email itself that is misleading to the recipient. Subject lines in the email must directly express the content. 

Apart from that, senders must include a valid mailing address when doing business. Providing the company name and location can also help breed a sense of trust and familiarity for the customers, contributing to the sales. 

Companies that have established their names and provide quality products and services can secure better deals in the future and build their positive image with the consumers. 

Unsubscribing and Permission Marketing

Sometimes customers no longer want to receive company newsletters and updates. In that case, unsubscribing should be an option. Once a request to unsubscribe from a company newsletter comes up, companies should process this immediately. Send instructions with a return email address or a website link to process their unsubscription. 

This rule also forbids asking the recipients for additional information aside from their email address. Web-based mechanisms must be active for at least thirty days after sending out an email to accommodate the request. There is also a duration to process these requests – ten business days at most. Remember that once a recipient opts out, you cannot send any more of your company emails. Besides that, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 prohibits selling or sharing the recipient’s email address. 

But there are instances wherein consumers permit you to send promotional emails beforehand. Permission marketing is the opposite of unsubscribing. If there is such a thing as opting out, opting in is also a choice. Permission marketing reduces spam complaints regarding your emails from your recipients. 

Endorsements

Fabricating false endorsements or reviews is an act punishable by law. All product endorsements should be truthful and not misleading to the public. Every product advertisement must contain factual information not staying too far from the truth.

This rule covers both digital and traditional market advertisements and publishing. Personalities endorsing your company should entail you to reveal the actual results of your product or service. Uncover any connections between the company and the endorser to the public. 

Full disclosure allows you to be transparent with your audience. Thus, it builds trust between you and your customers. And everyone would agree that trust and reliability is always good for business.

Following Marketing Laws and Creativity

In conclusion, there are many ways to increase marketing engagement tenfold without violating simple protocols. Efficient blog writing that displays your company’s reliability and boosts your image is a great idea. 

However, the best marketing strategy is simply to produce quality-assured products or services that are appealing to the market. Study the trends and understand what is in demand. Knowing what to sell and who you are selling them to does a lot for your company. 

After all, it is easier to provide better quality products than pay for lawsuits and undergo legal proceedings because of false product claims and illegal marketing strategies.

Article written by Reginald Chan
A meticulous entrepreneur by nature and a serial entrepreneur. Founded a few awesome startups including Marketing Lancers, WP Maven and TheMarketingHuddle.com. Reginald is a sought-after success coach, digital marketing consultant and TEDx speaker from Asia. Currently, he teaches others how to make money online for free.

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