CANSPAM does not make spam -- the sending of unsolicited emails
-- illegal. It does have some specific requirements for commercial
emails. The new law covers all email for which the primary purpose
is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a product or service.
The law excludes emails related to transactional relationships
such as billing statements, announcements of warranty information,
follow-ups to customer requests, etc. The bill covers all commercial
email solicitations, both solicited and unsolicited.
The key rules you must follow to send legal email marketing messages
include your full address within every email message
Subject lines must be descriptive in nature about the content
of the email.
There are specific civil penalties about the use of deceptive
subject lines. Subject lines such as news for a friend
would be considered misleading.
the from line should be from you or your business and not a
sales pitch or marketing message
Use a reply address that will be active for at least thirty
days after sending your email.
A conspicuously displayed unsubscribe link must be included
within every email
Any unsubscribe requests must be honored within ten days
In the case of unsolicited email, the marketer must label the
email as an advertisement. You may use the letters ADV in the
subject line but this particular identification is not required.
It is now required that a valid physical postal address of
the sender be found within all emails under CANSPAM.
Related to sexually oriented email, a message within the subject
line or at the top of the email must indicate the emails sexual
The law also specifically bans the practice of harvesting emails
through an automated means. This would mean its now illegal
to obtain email addresses is to by crawling websites. This includes
purchasing harvested email addresses from someone else.
The new federal antispam legislation also has several provisions
related to the sending of emails with false or misleading headers,
deceptive subject lines.