The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 standas for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing. This law lists the guidelines, requirements, and potential penalties for noncompliance regarding the commercial use of email and the legal rights of recipients of commercial email.
FTC will fine you $16,000 For every single email that violates the CAN-SPAM Act. So if you're caught being non-compliant for a list of, say, 1000 ... well, you do the math.
To be a CAN-SPAM compliant, it's important your email messages follow these rules, which can be found in full over at the FTC's website. CAN-SPAM provides several requirements for commercial senders including, but not limited to:
- Senders can not use false or misleading headers in every email that sent out.
- Senders can not use deceptive subject lines that misrepresent the contents of your message
- Senders must provide a clear way to opt out of every email you send out and honor all opt-out requests.
- Senders cannot 1) charge a fee 2) restrict a recipient to provide personally identifying information beyond an email address, or 3) make recipients take extensive steps other than simply replying to an email or visiting a single page on a website to unsubscribe themselves from your emails.
This is by no means a complete description of CAN-SPAM, please visit the CAN-SPAM Act Compliance Guide for more information.
CAN-SPAM is not limited to bulk email. Any commercial email communication, including business-to-business and business-to-customer email, is covered by the CAN-SPAM Act.