The CAN-SPAM Act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and was enacted to protect users from unsolicited mail or spam, by establishing a basic code of conduct and penalizing offenders with fines up to $16,000 for each message. All commercial electronic messages used for the promotion or advertisement of any product, service or website content are covered by the CAN-SPAM Act.
The basic tenets of the Act are:
- The use of accurate header information to correctly identify the origins of the message.
- The use of subject lines that reflect message content.
- The clear identification of a commercial message as an advertisement.
- The inclusion of a valid physical postal address.
- The inclusion of opt-out measures.
- Prompt and effective action on opt-out requests within 10 business days which in no way inconveniences the recipient.
- The sender assumes responsibility for the message even if a third party vendor is contracted to execute the service.
Companies engaging in email marketing should be careful to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and permission email marketing. Although adhering to the CAN-SPAM Act ensures basic legal compliance, it is recommended that companies go a step further through implementing email marketing best practices.