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Creative Solved - Advertising : Marketing : Interactive

Email Marketing:
Understanding Compliance and the CAN-SPAM Act

The environment for email marketing is again changing to help alleviate the amount of SPAM being delivered to your mailbox. But as a marketer, the complexities in getting your message delivered have become more challenging. Not only must you meet the CAN-SPAM Act, but also new compliance rules being set-up by anti-spam organizations which monitor spammers.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued the following statements.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them. A "transactional or relationship message" – email that facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship – may not contain false or misleading routing information, but otherwise is exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.

It is important as marketers that we don’t just rely on being CAN-SPAM compliant as the sole measure of whether a list is valid and compliant. We want to make sure that your brand is protected from being labeled as a sender of unsolicited commercial email. The Act defines consent as the recipient expressly consenting to receive an email message, either in response to a clear and conspicuous request for such consent or at the recipient’s own initiative. There is obviously a difference between what is allowed under the law and best practices.

The term ‘‘transactional or relationship message’’ means an electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender. The anti-spam organizations are very tough on the practice of using lists where the registration does not provides clear and conspicuous notice of the intent to add them to a mailing list. Not only that, but sending a campaign without a confirmed opt in will almost always result in a very high complaint, abuse, and bounce rate.

At Creative Solved, we continue to strive to make sure your email deployments meet the CAN-SPAM Act. We also educate our clients on best practices in the generation of their distribution lists. It is the combination understanding compliance and CAN-SPAM which allow us to continue providing successful email campaigns for our clients.

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