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CAN-SPAM 2.0 – FTC upgrade with rule revisions

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) – America’s governmental consumer protection agency – has revised its now 5 year-old CAN-SPAM legislation with increased clarity and definitions, widening the line between valid & legitimate email marketers and their evil SPAMMER counterparts.

What do these new revisions mean to you as an email marketer? Not much, but it does allow for more of a ‘black and white’ stance in the battle against unsolicited email.

For those of you already adhering to the CAN-SPAM act of 2003, then good on you (especially if you’re in the continental US), and for those of you who aren’t… what are you doing?

The 4 revisions are as follows:

  • No fees. Email recipients cannot be required to pay a fee to opt-out of an email program. In addition, the entire opt-out process must be simplified to a single reply to the email sending address, or a single visit to an unsubscribe page.
  • The term ‘Sender’ clarified. The term ‘Sender’ has been clarified to make it easier to determine which of multiple parties advertising in a single e-mail message is responsible for complying with the Act’s opt-out requirements.
  • Postal address validated. Any ‘Sender’ of commercial e-mail must include an accurately-registered & physical postal address, post office box, or private mailbox – to satisfy the Act’s requirement that a commercial e-mail display a “valid physical postal address”.
  • The term ‘Person’ expanded. The term ‘Person’ was clarified as to not limit the term to natural persons alone. The term ‘Person’ now includes individuals, groups, unincorporated associations, limited and general partnerships, corporations or other business entities.

Read entire press release.

Now’s a good time as any to ensure you’re fully CAN-SPAM compliant, so check the official FTC CAN-SPAM checklist for commercial emailers to make sure you’re covered.

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