Until the passage of the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM), the relationship between brand advertisers and the consumers they strive to attract and grow loyal relationships with via the email channel lacked definition. Dozens of different state laws and a general lack of best practices exasperated the situation because when consumers had questions, or decided that they no longer wanted to receive email communications from an advertiser, it wasn't always clear what path to take to modify the relationship. Some state laws and best practices contradicted others and there was general dissatisfaction from consumers and brands.
CAN-SPAM remedied the situation from a legal perspective by providing all with one common rule-set that provided both advertisers and consumers with several mandates that prescribed what an advertiser needed to do in response to consumer requests to unsubscribe from email communications as well as a time-frame requirement. The law was later clarified to to further define the "Advertiser." The best brand advertisers then as well as now considered the law their bare minimum responsibility to the consumer — aiming much higher.
The federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, or the "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003" was signed by President Bush on December 16, 2003 and went into effect on January 1, 2004. While unsolicited commercial email is still legal under the new Federal law, you must follow five rules to keep your outbound marketing messages above the board. What follows is a brief summary of the transmission rules:
In 2008, the FTC approved four new rule provisions under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM or the Act). The provisions are intended to clarify the Act's requirements.
The new rule provisions address four topics:
One of CAN-SPAM's more difficult components makes the Advertisers responsible, and ultimately liable, for honoring unsubscribes on any mailing campaigns conducted by third parties on their behalf. Thus, an advertiser's list of users that cannot be emailed, also known as a suppression or opt-out list, is a vital part of email marketing.
UnsubCentral makes it easy for clients to comply with the law, and it can help smart marketers derive even greater value from their marketing campaigns. UnsubCentral gives you the ability to distribute your suppression lists in three clicks, and automatically update those suppression lists, so you can honor unsubscribe requests immediately, allowing UnsubCentral clients to secure revenue with peace of mind.