CAN-SPAM Compliance

The CAN-SPAM Act, which stands for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003, sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Here are key factors to ensure compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act:

  1. Accurate Header Information: The "From," "To," "Reply-To," and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.

  2. Relevant Subject Lines: The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message. It cannot be deceptive or misleading.

  3. Disclosure of the Message as an Ad: The law requires that your email is clearly and conspicuously identified as an advertisement or solicitation unless you have obtained express consent from the recipient that says otherwise.

  4. Location Information: Your email must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.

  5. Opt-Out Mechanism: Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that's easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Provide a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days.

  6. Honor Opt-Out Requests Promptly: You cannot charge a fee, require the recipient to give any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.

  7. Monitoring What Others Do on Your Behalf: If you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you cannot contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act involves more than just avoiding spammy practices. It's about respecting the privacy and preferences of your recipients while providing truthful and clear information about your identity and the nature of your communications. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines, so it's important to adhere to these principles in all your email marketing efforts.

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