How To Do Email Marketing Right
- include your physical postal address
- indicate that the email is an advertisement or solicitation
- 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).