Hi All on EmailRules Email List,
Are there new rules for email? Yes! As of May 2008, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved new provisions under the CAN-SPAM.
While it is important to stay up-to-date on the legislation that makes up the minimum standards, it is just as vital to stay up-to-date with best email practices. For the most part, these practices go beyond existing legislation. For example, CAN-SPAM does not require prior permission for direct marketing email messages. However, explicit prior permission from each recipient will always remain one of the gold standard best practices of email list communications and email marketing.
Also, keep in mind that national and local legislation differs. For example, the European Union (EU Directive 2002/58/EC) allows direct marketing email messages to be sent only to subscribers ("natural persons" such as consumers and sole proprietorships) who have given their prior consent.
The FTC rule provisions under the CAN-SPAM address four new requirements for commercial email in the US:
1. Easy Opt-Out
"An e-mail recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her e-mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future e-mail from a sender."
2. Clear Sender
"The definition of "sender" was modified 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."
3. Physical Address
"A 'sender' of commercial e-mail can include an accurately-registered post office box or private mailbox established under United States Postal Service regulations to satisfy the Act's requirement that a commercial e-mail display a 'valid physical postal address'."
4. Rules apply to both Companies and Individuals
"A definition of the term "person" was added to clarify that CAN-SPAM's obligations are not limited to natural persons."
You can find the original FTC sources here:
FTC Announcement May 12, 2008: FTC Approves New Rule Provision Under The CAN-SPAM Act:
Text of the Federal Register Notice on new rule:
For an update on the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. as well as the EU Directive on Electronic Communications in Europe, a comparison table is available here:
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