In the latest post in our CAN-SPAM Compliance Deep Dive series, we take a looking at two requirements for every commercial email.
1 – Identifying the email as an advertisement
2 – Providing a physical location to recipients of your marketing email campaigns.
What does The CAN-SPAM Act say?
These requirements on included in a section that also discusses opt-out mechanisms and return email addresses.
§7704. Other protections for users of commercial electronic mail
(5) Inclusion of identifier, opt-out, and physical address in commercial electronic mail
(A) It is unlawful for any person to initiate the transmission of any commercial electronic mail message to a protected computer unless the message provides—
(i) clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation;
(ii) clear and conspicuous notice of the opportunity under paragraph (3) to decline to receive further commercial electronic mail messages from the sender; and
(iii) a valid physical postal address of the sender.
(B) Subparagraph (A)(i) does not apply to the transmission of a commercial electronic mail message if the recipient has given prior affirmative consent to receipt of the message.
From the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business
3 – Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
4 – Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
Once again the CAN-SPAM Act lays out protections for consumers so that they not only know an email is an ad (building on the requirement that a subject line accurately reflects the content of the message and not be deceptive) but that they can also more easily identify the sender and where they are located.
The Legal Disclaimer
Nothing in this text should be construed as legal advice. We highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the various information sources regarding CAN-SPAM compliance on the FTC website. Additionally, you may choose to obtain professional legal advice regarding your company’s email compliance efforts, related to CAN-SPAM or other relevant regulations that impact email marketing.