The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email. It was signed by President George W. Bush on December 16, 2003. The name 'CAN-SPAM' came from the word “canning,” which can be associated with putting an end to spam messages.

This law establishes the requirements for commercial mailings and gives recipients the right to stop receiving them. The CAN-SPAM Act also determines the punishment measures for deviation from the rules. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means that all types of emails – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law. Mailings that do not comply with this law could result in a penalty and will bring losses to a company.

The main requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act are as follows:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Disclose clearly that your message is an advertisement
  • Let the subscribers know where your company is located
  • Don’t hide the unsubscribe button
  • Tell subscribers how to opt out of receiving emails from you in future
  • Even if you hire another company to send your mailings, you can’t deny your responsibility to comply with the law 

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