All Bulk Email Sender Understanding Spamming Laws

There are two laws pertaining to spamming which all the bulk email sender should be aware of, if they are sending email marketing messages to or within the USA.

One is a federal law applicable to the whole country which was passed in 2003.It is popularly known as The CAN SPAM Act – 2003.

The other one is a state law pertaining to emails sent to or within California, passed in 2012.bulk email sender

The Two Acts Of Bulk Email Sending

The CAN SPAM Act 2003:

  • CAN SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non Solicited Pornography And Marketing.
  • Its provisions are:
    • Misleading or false information not to be used anywhere in the header or subject.
    • Complete information of the sender, recipient and the domain must be mentioned.
    • There should be a provision of opting-out of receiving emails for the recipient and it should be active for atleast 30 days from when the email is sent.
    • Transfer of email addresses to other lists is prohibited.
    • The physical address of the sender should be provided on the email and it must be labeled as an advertisement if it is for commercial purposes.

The California state Spam Law – 2012

  • This law is more particular than the country wide federal law.
  • It is more specific to the state of California and is more stringent and limiting than the CAN-SPAM law.
  • According to this law, there is no obligation for the sender to include an opt-out link in the email, But if anyone receives an email which he or she has not opted in for, they can directly sue the sender for about a $1000 for an email, without even having to request and wait for an opt-out.
  • Also the bulk email senders cannot furnish any wrong information of the customer in the email.If they do so, they are not complying with the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
  • To be on the safe side, generally bulk email senders go for a double opt-in method and avoid spamming.

Avoid Email Appending

Email appending is a process in which a list of emails is merged with an existing database of customers’ name and address only. The list of emails is from a third party (and not the email marketer himself). The email marketer gets this list and appends it to his own database of only names and addresses, to add an additional means of contact to his customers. In the process of email appending, the email list is mixed and matched with the database and the email addresses are added to the matching customers’ details.

Email Appending Contains A Link

email appending

Well, as you might have guessed, these customers have not permitted the email marketer to send them email marketing messages, though the email marketer has their older details (name and address) in his data base. So now, this kind of an act results in opt-out email list conception and will eventually result in spamming.

Email appending represents the mentality of an outdated, previous era of marketing where permission was not important and the reason for this is, there were no means of seeking the customers’ permission before invading their privacy. For example, one could not take permission before sending someone direct print marketing stuff. But times have changed and now, when you have the means and methods to ask for someone’s permission. When it is possible, it is substantial to get the permission.

There are also some people with the notion that relevance is more important as opposed to permission. The major difference between permission and relevance is that permission helps to put your proposal forward and relevance makes it sell. So both of them are important at their own instances and you cannot work without either of them.

There are ways by which these “appended” lists are tried to be converted to opt-in lists. When the email is sent, it contains a link to either opt-in or opt-out from further email communications. The  recipients have to opt-out from a email marketing campaign that they had never opted-in for! And about those who do not opt-out and still are least bothered or interested in these emails, the sender is happily believing that they are his “opt-in” subscribers!