Dundee Data Blog > Auto Mailing List Info, Business Mailing List Info, Consumer Mailing List Info, Dundee Data News, Marketing Campaigns, Targeted Mailing List Info > Email Marketing and SPAM

Email Marketing and SPAM

July 15, 2013 • Dundee Data • Auto Mailing List Info, Business Mailing List Info, Consumer Mailing List Info, Dundee Data News, Marketing Campaigns, Targeted Mailing List Info

Email marketing looks like a great way to target your customers and build new prospects less expensively than direct mail.  Well, it can be BUT!  Email marketing is regulated by Federal law and it’s an easy law to break if you are not aware of the rules.  Email marketing must be done properly.  The federal law is known as the CAN-SPAM Act.  This law sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.  Below is a rundown of the CAN-SPAM requirements taken from the site of the Federal Trade Commission BCP Business Center.

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.


If you really want to learn more about the entire act and all of its consequences check out the FTC’s site for the CAN-SPAM Act.

If I still have your attention, you now know that email marketing may not be quite as simple as you may have first thought.  Be sure to use experienced direct marketing companies that will work with you to build an effective and compliant email campaign.

I wouldn’t rule out email marketing, in the right circumstances it can be a powerful marketing tool.  But if you are thinking that direct mail has less regulations and penalties, you are correct.  Dundee Data can provide targeted mailing lists for your marketing needs.  We are able to offer consumer mailing lists with too many selection options to mention today and business lists for every size and type of business.  Including specialized automotive mailing lists and physician data.    Call Dundee Data today and let’s discuss your direct marketing options.


Susan Walter



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