What is the Required Content for E-Mails in Web Marketing

The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to include certain content in your e-mails. Include the following in your e-mails to stay CAN-SPAM–compliant:

  • Provide a way for your subscribers to opt out of receiving future e-mails. You’re required to remove anyone who unsubscribes from your e-mail list permanently within ten days of the unsubscribe request, and you can’t add that person back without his explicit permission. When providing an opt-out mechanism, it’s illegal to charge someone to opt out or to ask for any information other than an e-mail address and opt-out preferences.

    Your opt-out process also has to be accomplishable by replying to a single e-mail or by visiting a single web page. Your EMP can provide you with an opt-out link that automatically unsubscribes in one click.

  • Make sure that your e-mail includes your physical address. If your business has multiple locations, include your main address or the physical address associated with each e-mail you send.

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    If you work from home and don’t want your home address in every e-mail, the CAN-SPAM 2008 revisions confirm that you’re allowed to include your post office box address as long as the post office or box rental company associates the box to your legitimate business address.

  • Make sure that your e-mail header information clearly identifies your business and doesn’t mislead your audience in any way. Your e-mail header includes your From line, Subject line, and e-mail address. Make sure that your e-mail’s From line information clearly and honestly represents your business. The term misleading is open to legal interpretation. Speak to your attorney if you have questions.

  • Make sure that your e-mail’s Subject line isn’t misleading. Don’t use the Subject line to trick your audience into opening your e-mail or to misrepresent the offer contained in your e-mail.

  • Make sure that your e-mail clearly states that the e-mail is a solicitation. The exception is when you have permission or affirmative consent from every individual on your list to send the solicitation.

  • Make sure that your e-mail complies with any applicable guidelines for sexually oriented material. If your e-mail contains such material, make sure that your e-mail’s Subject line complies with the CAN-SPAM Act supplementary guidelines and clearly states that the content of the e-mail is adult in nature without being explicit in the way you describe the content. You can access the supplementary guidelines on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.

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