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What you need to know about the Can-Spam Act

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What you need to know about the Can-Spam Act

At my Constant Contact seminars, people ask me all the time about the Can-Spam Act. This is a law that was put into place in 2003 to combat spam emails. You can get fined for violations. Typically not much, but sometimes it can be thousands of dollars depending on how extreme the violation was.

 

Some people have gone to jail for violating the Can-Spam Act. (typically for phishing related crimes) Yes, it is a big deal!

 

Major email marketing service providers like Constant Contact have to help their customers understand this law and enable them the tools for doing so.

 

To be in compliance with the Can-Spam Act, your emails need the following:

Unsubscribe compliance

  • A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails.
  • Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days.
  • Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes.

Content compliance

  • Accurate from lines (including “friendly froms”)
  • Relevant subject lines (relative to offer in body content and not deceptive)
  • A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present. PO Box addresses are acceptable in compliance with 16 C.F.R. 316.2(p) and if the email is sent by a third party, the legitimate physical address of the entity, whose products or services are promoted through the email should be visible.
  • A label is present if the content is adult.

Sending behavior compliance

  • A message cannot be sent through an open relay
  • A message cannot be sent without an unsubscribe option.
  • A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address
  • A message cannot contain a false header
  • A message should contain at least one sentence.
  • A message cannot be null.
  • Unsubscribe option should be below the message.

Source: Wikipedia

 

Luckily most of the tools that are needed to comply with the Can-Spam act are already provided to you. Compliance with the law is one of the most important reasons you should be using a service like Constant Contact instead of traditional email for your newsletters.

 

Additionally, you should be getting permission from your contact before putting them on your list. This can be as simple as asking someone at a networking event if they want your newsletter or using an opt in form on your website. You should not under any circumstances be buying an email list of names or downloading names off of your prospect’s website. This is a definite violation!

 

Legitimate email service providers like Constant Contact will shut you down in a heartbeat if you don’t get permission in advance. They will know if you didn’t get permission, because emails sent without permission will have lower open rates and higher spam complaint rates. They check these things on every email sent.

At my Constant Contact seminars, people ask me all the time about the Can-Spam Act. This is a law that was put into place in 2003 to combat spam emails. You can get fined for violations. Typically not much, but sometimes it can be thousands of dollars depending on how extreme the violation was.

 

Some people have gone to jail for violating the Can-Spam Act. (typically forphishing related crimes) Yes, it is a big deal!


Major email marketing service providers like Constant Contact have to help their customers understand this law and enable them the tools for doing so.

 

To be in compliance with the Can-Spam Act, your emails need the following:
Unsubscribe compliance
A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails.
Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days.
Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes.
Content compliance
Accurate from lines (including “friendly froms”)
Relevant subject lines (relative to offer in body content and not deceptive)
A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present. PO Box addresses are acceptable in compliance with 16 C.F.R. 316.2(p) and if the email is sent by a third party, the legitimate physical address of the entity, whose products or services are promoted through the email should be visible.
A label is present if the content is adult.
Sending behavior compliance
A message cannot be sent through an open relay
A message cannot be sent without an unsubscribe option.
A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address
A message cannot contain a false header
A message should contain at least one sentence.
A message cannot be null.
Unsubscribe option should be below the message.


Source: Wikipedia

Luckily most of the tools that are needed to comply with the Can-Spam act are already provided to you. Compliance with the law is one of the most important reasons you should be using a service like Constant Contact instead of traditional email for your newsletters.


Additionally, you should be getting permission from your contact before putting them on your list. This can be as simple as asking someone at a networking event if they want your newsletter or using an opt in form on your website. You should not under any circumstances be buying an email list of names or downloading names off of your prospect’s website. This is a definite violation!


Legitimate email service providers like Constant Contact will shut you down in a heartbeat if you don’t get permission in advance. They will know if you didn’t get permission, because emails sent without permission will have lower open rates and higher spam complaint rates. They check these things on every email sent.

 

This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.

Constant Contact partner and LinkedIn expert.

Author of Mr. Leads LinkedIn Bootcamp