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.
Your subject line, “From”, “Reply To” and routing information should all be accurately aligned to your identity and the purpose of the message.
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.
You must include a physical postal address registered to your organization. This is usually included in your email footer.
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.
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.
Even if working with a 3rd party, you are legally responsible to comply. Ensure any company working on your behalf follows compliance requirements.
Each email out of compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act can result in a $16,000 fine. Any misleading claims about service or products can result in imprisonment.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the strictest data privacy and security law in the world. This was passed by the European Union (EU) but all organizations must comply, regardless of their location, if they are targeting or collecting data related to people in EU.
CASL is a Canadian anti-spam law applying to all electronic messages in connection to a “commercial activity.” It requires Canadian and global organizations within, from, or to Canada to receive explicit consent from all recipients before sending messages.
The California Consumer Protection Act is a state statute outlining privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, USA. This act is intended to improve transparency and has set the precedent for other state laws in the future.