How To Do Email Marketing Right

  • email, marketingIn short, you may send unsolicited email so long as you follow the rules.
  1. include your physical postal address
  2. indicate that the email is an advertisement or solicitation
  3. notify recipients of their ability to decline further mailings and tell them how to do so

Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (“CAN-SPAM”) Act of 2003, 15 U.S.C. § 7701 et seq., and was enacted in response to mounting concerns associated with the rapid growth of spam e-mails. Congress determined:

(1) there is a substantial governmental interest in regulation of commercial electronic mail on a nationwide basis;

(2) senders of commercial electronic mail should not mislead recipients as to the source or content of such mail; and

(3) recipients of commercial electronic mail have a right to decline to receive additional commercial electronic mail from the same source. Id.

The Act does not ban spam outright, but rather provides a code of conduct to regulate commercial e-mail messaging practices. Stated in general terms, the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits such practices as transmitting messages with “deceptive subject headings” or “header information that is materially false or materially misleading.” See 15 U.S.C. § 7704(a)(1), (2).

The Act also imposes requirements regarding content, format, and labeling. For instance, unsolicited e-mail messages must include the sender’s physical postal address, indicate they are advertisements or solicitations, and notify recipients of their ability to decline further mailings. 15 U.S.C. § 7704(a)(5).

Moreover, in order to comply with the Act, each message must have either a functioning return e-mail address or a comparable mechanism that allows a recipient to “opt out” of future mailings. 15 U.S.C. § 7704(a)(3).