The CAN-SPAM Act is a federal law that governs how companies can communicate with consumers through email. Violations of the act can result in costly penalties, exceeding $42,000 for a single offense.
These tips from the Federal Trade Commission can help your small business ensure CAN-SPAM compliance and avoid legal sanctions.
Know when it applies
A business email must follow the terms of CAN-SPAM if its primary purpose is commercial content. It does not refer to relationship or transactional content, such as a confirmation or shipping email to a customer who already purchased a product. An email that combines commercial content with other types of content still falls under the federal CAN-SPAM guidelines.
Take care with wording
The email address and domain from which you send the email should clearly identify your company. The subject line of the email should provide information about the contents within and should never attempt to mislead the reader. Text within the message itself must identify the email as an advertisement. Each email from your brand must include a postal address where consumers can write to your business.
Provide opt-out information
You must also include explicit details about how recipients can avoid getting future emails from you. This process should be easy to understand. When consumers follow the opt-out process you have provided, you have 30 days to honor the request or risk non-compliance with CAN-SPAM.
Keep in mind that you have responsibility for all email messages sent on behalf of your brand. If you decide to outsource electronic marketing to another firm, you would still hold legal responsibility for CAN-SPAM violations involving emails from your business.