Ok, so we’ve all received the unwanted emails offering up everything from millions in unclaimed dollars to imposter designer watches to the latest and greatest viagra-like substance, diet revolution, multi-level scheme, etc, etc, etc…
While those types of emails are considered by most of us a nuisance or spam, how aware are you of whether YOU, your brand or company has ever violated CAN-SPAM laws?
To make it easier, Buzzphoria (www.buzzphoria.com) has put together a list of the 10 essential things you need to know about CAN-SPAM compliance.
1. What is CAN-SPAM? Written into law in 2003, CAN-SPAM is a United States federal government measure to ensure that all email adequately identifies its origin, allows a user to remove themselves from future mailings and provides the government and ISPs a right to action against anyone not following CAN-SPAM requirements.
2. Did you know that CAN-SPAM is only applicable to email that is sent and received in the United States? It also overrides any state level spam laws.
3. If you have specific CAN-SPAM questions, you’ll want to refer to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They’re the governing body in legal prosecutions and also update CAN-SPAM’s core compliance requirements. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is also involved when it comes to emails that are sent to cell devices.
4. Under CAN-SPAM once a recipient has opted out of receiving your email, you may not contact them again for further marketing opportunities. An email unsubscribe operates similar to a Do-Not-Call list with telephone numbers.
5. In terms of opt-out function, landing and links CAN-SPAM requirements keep things simple for the recipient. Senders are allowed to only have the recipient take one action after landing on the unsubscribe page from an opt-out click-thru. At that point, the recipient can click on a confirm button, check a box, etc. Senders cannot require recipients to sign into an account and perform other actions to be removed from the list or require a fee. You must support the unsubscribe link and the resulting landing page for at least 30 days to ensure that recipients have enough time to unsubscribe. This helps avoid senders from having confusing or complicated opt out mechanisms.
6. CAN-SPAM mandates that you must remove a recipient from mailing lists or suppress sending to them within 10 days of receipt of their opt-out request.
7. Transactional email is exempt from CAN-SPAM since it is mandated by the FTC. CAN-SPAM defines transactional email as one which “facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship.” This definition prohibits marketing messages from being labeled as transactional although it does allow for marketing content in a transactional email. It is advised that a sender get input from someone who’s an expert in email law to certify that the content does apply to the
8. CAN-SPAM requires that headers accurately reflect the originator of the email message. Failure to do so is considered fraudulent and in direct conflict of the transparency spirit of the law.
9. CAN-SPAM has no volume thresholds for enforcement. Any amount of email sent, even if it’s just to a single recipient, is covered by CAN-SPAM.
10. Violation of CAN-SPAM can result in monetary fines and jail time depending on the number of offenses and the sender’s intent. Also, a sender in violation can face civil damages from private ISPs.