Am I CAN-SPAM compliant?

Summary

If you are sending email or campaigns that are pointed towards US inboxes, you are required to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing). It establishes the US’ first national standards for the sending of commercial email, requiring the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce it. Therefore, if you are to be CAN-SPAM compliant, there are certain provisions you need to make and include within your emails.

Overview of the CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act is too long and detailed to summarise comprehensively here, especially without leaving anything out! It is also subject to change, for instance if US Congress decides to pass another act or if the FTC change or strengthen any rules. This is why we provide a generalised five point overview of its key features below, all of which are pretty much best email marketing practices anyway (however if you want to know more about the act as a whole and all of its consequences, please visit the FTC’s Compliance Guide for Business)*:

  1. Only send email to people who have provided their consent to being emailed.
  2. Make sure your email has an unsubscribe option on it. All of our templates include an unsubscribe link, however.
  3. Make sure your physical business/customer service address is included somewhere in the email (this can be a street address or a PO Box). This enables people to unsubscribe by post if they wish to.
  4. When people unsubscribe, don’t ever email them again. We also require this and to this end your unsubscribers are processed and suppressed automatically for you. For more on supressions and unsubscribe requests, read Suppressing email addresses and Using the 'Unsubscribe requests' report
  5. Don’t buy or sell email lists. Generally speaking, only use the email list you have generated for yourself.
Please note that accounts with a US locale won't see the 'Show the preference centre when a contact unsubscribes' option for enablement under the 'Features' section in the 'Account settings' tab. This is because a preference centre isn't compliant with CAN-SPAM legislation.

CAN-SPAM validation within EasyEditor

As a user of our application, we endeavour to guide you towards best email marketing practices as a matter of course. In light of this and to help with CAN-SPAM compliance, we have added extra validations to our US based accounts around $SENDERADDRESS$ when saving your campaign.

Upon attempting to save your campaign without $SENDERADDRESS$ included in the HTML anywhere, a campaign save error message will appear.

It reminds you to select and enter your $SENDERADDRESS$ marker from the Data fields menu, which can be found along the EasyEditor ribbon.

It becomes active when you’ve selected a text element within your campaign. Clicking on Data fields then produces a panel of options on the right-hand side, from which Sender address can be selected under the 'Account data fields' section:

Clicking on this will insert the $SENDERADDRESS$ marker into the selected text element. When your campaign is sent, this marker will be replaced with your existing customer service address, as stored within the 'Account settings' tab on your 'Account' page (which is accessed by mousing over the person-and-cog icon in the top right corner of the application and then clicking on Account from the settings menu).

If you attempt to save with the $SENDERADDRESS$ marker in your email but have no customer service address saved in your 'My details' tab, a handy form will open up. Enter the customer service address you’d like added to your campaign and click OK (this address will be added under your account details too).

customer_service_address_form.png

* Please be aware we are not providing any legal advice in this article. After all, we are not lawyers! Please don’t rely solely on the advice given here to ensure you are CAN-SPAM compliant. Ultimately the responsibility to ensure you are CAN-SPAM compliant lies with you and your company, so please do seek further relevant advice if you are unsure in any way.

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