If your business sends emails, it is imperative that you are familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act and its requirements for commercial messages, the rights of email recipients and the penalties for violation. A Priori technology lawyer can help you comply with the CAN-SPAM requirements and make smart decisions about your email marketing.
The CAN-SPAM Act is a federal law enacted to fight email spam. CAN-SPAM delineates different requirements for commercial and transactional emails. Commercial emails are messages whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service. Generally speaking, transactional emails relate to a transaction that the recipient previously agreed to.
CAN-SPAM mandates that each commercial message sent:
has a header and subject line that doesn't contain materially false or materially misleading information;
provides "clear and conspicuous" identification that it is an advertisement or solicitation;
includes some type of return email address and contains "clear and conspicuous" notice of the opportunity to opt-out of receiving future emails;
was not sent after the receiver has opted-out; and
contains a valid, physical postal address for the sender.
Transactional emails are not subject to the same requirements. Broadly, they must not include misleading information.
Each separate email in violation of CAN-SPAM is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, making non-compliance very costly.
Legal fees for technology lawyers vary based on the specifics of the matter, generally ranging from $150 to $450 per hour. Priori clients enjoy a net-15% discount on standard hourly rates. In order to get a better sense of cost for your particular situation, put in a request to schedule a complimentary consultation and receive a free price quote from one of our lawyers. Depending on the project, flat fees may also be available for CAN-SPAM compliance review.
Frequently Asked Questions
I contract out email marketing to a third party -- do I need to worry about CAN-SPAM?
Yes, according to the regulations, both your business, whose product or service is being advertised or promoted in the email, as well as the third party company that is actually sending the email, may be held legally responsible.