What it Says (in plain English) and What it Means for You
What CAN-SPAM it stands for
Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act
Who it’s meant for
Anyone who sends commercial emails. Commercial emails are those with the primary purpose of advertising or promoting a commercial product or service. The laws were primarily developed for those who send unsolicited emails (emails to people who have not directly opted in to their company). But even those sending solicited emails (emails to people who have directly opted in to receive their emails) should follow these guidelines, as many subscribers will still use the “Report Spam” button as a means of unsubscribing from the list.
When it was established
The first act came out in 2003. The FTC approved four new rule provisions in 2008 to clarify the original act.
What the Law Requires
In order for your email to not be labeled legally as spam it must follow these guidelines:
It must not contain false or misleading header information.
- Your email’s “from” mask and “to” address must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.
2) It must not contain deceptive subject lines.The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the content or subject matter of the message.
3) It must give recipients an opt-out method. The recipient needs to be able to opt out by either a) sending a reply email b) visiting a single web page c) clicking on a single unsubscribe button. The replies must be sent to a functioning email account. You cannot require the recipient to pay a fee or to provide information other than his/her email address and opt out preferences.
4) The opt-outs must be honored within 10 days.
5) It must identify itself as an advertisement. Your message must contain clear and conspicuous notice that the message is an advertisement or solicitation and that the recipient can opt out of receiving more commercial email from you.
6) It must include the sender’s valid postal address. This can include an accurately-registered post office box or private mailbox established under the USPS regulations. If the post office box or private mailbox was not accurately registered, or if the registrant fails to comply with applicable requirements, the address will be deemed “invalid” and the sender will be liable for non-compliance.
What the Law Doesn’t Require
Notice that the law does not require that your list be opt-in. The law is concerned with how an email is sent not to whom it is sent. So, if you’re renting a list, that’s okay.
How Thrive helps you stay compliant
We take can-spam compliance seriously around here! If the email doesn’t comply, we don’t send it. We make sure there is nothing deceptive or misleading in the “from” mask and subject lines. We provide an unsubscribe button on each and every email that we send and we honor all opt-out reply emails we receive within 10 days of the request, but usually sooner. We keep a master opt-out list for each of our clients.
If you have questions about these rules, please contact one of Thrive’s Marketing Consultants.