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What legal requirements must I follow to be compliant?

In the United States, the CAN-SPAM Act outlines the regulations around electronic mail messaging. This law defines commercial messages as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.”

Our checklist below outlines the requirements as specified by CAN-SPAM to help you stay compliant with your email messaging. You can also download the checklist for a printable version.


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Your CAN-SPAM Compliance Checklist

1Avoid using misleading information

Your subject line, “From”, “Reply To” and routing information should all be accurately aligned to your identity and the purpose of the message.


2Identify your message as an ad

While there is leeway in how this can be done, it must be clearly stated that your message is an advertisement somewhere in your email.


3Include your physical location

You must include a physical postal address registered to your organization. This is usually included in your email footer.


4Make it easy to opt-out

There must be a clear and conspicuous way for recipients to opt out of receiving an email from you. This opt out link is usually incuded in your email footer.


5Honor opt-out requests promptly

You must process opt-outs within 10 business days of the request. Opt-outs must be kept on a suppression list permanently unless they request in writing to be re-added.


6Monitor all activity on your behalf

Even if working with a 3rd party, you are legally responsible to comply. Ensure any company working on your behalf follows compliance requirements.

Download Printable Checklist

What kind of email does this apply to?

  • CAN-SPAM applies to any electronic commercial communication that promotes a service or product.
  • There is an exception to “transactional emails” if the communication speaks to information around a pre-existing business relationship

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