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CAN-SPAM Act Guidelines

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for sending commercial email and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them.

What the Law Requires:

  1. It bans header information that is false or misleading. Your email's sender, recipient and routing information which includes the originating domain name and email address must be accurate and explicitly identify the person who initiated the email.
  2. It prohibits false subject lines.The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.
  3. It requires that you give your recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism allowing email recipients to ask you not to send future email messages.
    Warning: You must honor the requests. You may create a "menu" of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender.
  4. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must have the ability to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after the commercial email is sent. When you receive an opt-out request, the law gives you 10 business days to stop sending email to the recipient who sent the request. You cannot help another business entity send email to that address or have them send commercial email on your behalf.

    Note: You cannot help another entity send email to that address, or have another entity send email on your behalf to that address.

  5. It is illegal to sell or transfer the email addresses of recipients who choose not to receive your email, even in the form of a mailing list, unless you transfer the addresses so another entity complies with the law.
  6. Commercial email must be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address. The message must contain a clear notice that the message is an advertisement and the recipient can opt out of receiving more commercial email from you.

Violators of these provisions are subject to fines of up to $11,000.


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