Friday, June 20, 2008

Are you Still CAN-SPAM Compliant?

Today's Marketing Tip: Being CAN-SPAM Compliant

As you may be aware, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently enacted new rules intended to clarify the original provisions of the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act. The supplementary ruling, which now goes into effect July 7, may have important implications for your email marketing program. Here are some of the key provisions for discussion purposes:

Mandated Simplification of Opt-out Processes. The new rules clarify the opt-out required under CAN-SPAM. You'll want to examine your opt-out process to determine if it is in compliance with this new rule, which states:

  • The opt-out may not be conditioned on the payment of any fee.
  • The recipient must not be required to provide anything more than email address and associated opt-out preferences for that email address (i.e., no password, account number, name, etc. can be required).
  • The opt-out mechanism must rely on either a reply email or a visit to a single Internet Web page and nothing more (i.e., multiple Web page opt-out processes are no longer allowed).

Designated Sender Rule Established. This new rule provides a framework whereby multiple advertisers that appear in the same commercial email message, each of which normally would satisfy the Act's definition of "sender," may designate a single sender among them as the sole sender of the message. If you routinely engage in list rentals or joint promotions, you will want to examine this provision closely.

P.O. Box Usage Confirmed. Businesses may publish a sender's P.O. box or private mailbox in
a commercial email message to comply with the valid physical postal address requirement.


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