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What Every Business Owner Should Know About the CAN-SPAM Act

In the United States, marketers must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act when sending emails.


If you’re a business owner and the primary purpose of your email is either commercial or part commercial and part transactional in nature, then the CAN-SPAM Act applies to you.


What do you need to know?


1) No False or Misleading Information


You cannot include false information in your marketing emails.


The sender’s name and email, the subject line, and the body of your email must be truthful and accurate.


Misleading information is also prohibited. For example, you are not allowed to trick the recipient into opening an email with a subject line unrelated to the contents of the email.


Keep it honest!


2) Disclose that Your Email is an Ad


The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to indicate that your email is an advertisement UNLESS you have obtained the recipient’s prior affirmative consent to receive messages from your company.


As a precaution, do NOT send emails to email addresses unless you have the recipient’s prior affirmative consent. The CAN-SPAM doesn’t prohibit the buying and selling of email addresses per-se, but purchasing email address lists is risky, potentially unethical, and should be avoided. Play it safe and just don’t do it.


3) Provide a Valid Postal Address


You must provide a valid postal address in your emails.


I know this can be tricky for small business owners and freelancers. If you work from home and have privacy concerns then I suggest you register a U.S. Post Office box or a private mailbox and use that for email purposes.


4) The Opt-Out Method Must Be Clear and Conspicuous


If a recipient no longer wants to receive your emails, the opt-out language must be clear and the process must be easy.


5) Remove Opt-Out Emails within 10 Business Days


If someone on your list opts out, remove them from your email list within 10-business days.


6) Monitor Your Emails


You are legally responsible for the emails sent on behalf of your company even if you hire another company or individual to handle your marketing. Make sure you review your company's emails before they go out!


Sooo... are YOU in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act?


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