Definition & Meaning:

Can-SPAM is a law in the United States that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Officially known as the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003, it covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as any electronic mail message, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.

For instance, if you run an online store and send emails to your customers about new products or sales, those emails must comply with Can-SPAM regulations.

This includes making sure your messages are not misleading, providing a clear way for recipients to opt out of future emails, and honoring opt-out requests promptly.

The law also requires that you identify your message as an ad and include your valid physical postal address in every email. Violating Can-SPAM can result in significant fines and penalties.

This makes it essential for businesses that use email to promote their products or services to understand and follow Can-SPAM requirements closely.

Despite its name, Can-SPAM doesn’t just apply to bulk email; it covers all commercial messages, which means even a single email sent to a customer without proper adherence to the law can lead to penalties.

The law allows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with other federal agencies and state attorneys general, to enforce its rules, ensuring that businesses cannot use email to exploit consumers.