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Christopher Knight

CAN-SPAM New Rules Require Single Action Email Opt-Out, Designated Senders - 4 Tips
By Christopher Knight

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There are (4) new rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission that amend the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 that you should know about.

I've enlisted the help of a friend of mine, Anne P. Mitchell, who helped author & assist with the development of the CAN-SPAM act amendments to cover the (4) changes. The new rules came out as a 109 page memorandum. [Yawn!] Let's see if we can save you some time.

Let's jump into the (4) changes:

WHEN: These go into effect at the end of June 2008.

WHO: They affect all senders of commercial email who have an email list of any size.


1. The ability to opt-out of a mailing must be accomplished by one single action - either replying to the email, or clicking through to a single web page. Only.

2. The first new rule relates to the definition of "person" for the purpose of whether CAN-SPAM applies. This applies to everybody... Meaning, anyone, including non-companies, can be liable for sending commercial email.

3. The use of a post office box or private mailbox ("PMB") as the physical address in commercial mailings satisfies CAN-SPAM.

4. For any mailing which contains advertisements from 3rd party advertisers, either the party who the email is "from" must have an advertisement in the email (in which case they become responsible for processing opt-out requests) or all of the advertisers with advertisements in the mailing are responsible for opt-out requests. This is known as the "Designated Sender" rule.

Several of these are rather confusing to someone outside of our industry, and require further explanation. Thankfully Anne created a 49 minute MP3 that fully explains in detail these changes, including the complicated "Designated Sender" rule... what they mean to you and how to comply to the changes in detail.

[Download the recording of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 new rules teleseminar here! $39.97, 49 minutes long!]

My take on the 4 changes:

YEAH! Too many large companies have been irresponsibly incompetent at holding their list members hostage. This rule is perfect and completely acceptable. You never want to keep someone on your list if they want off.

More accountability is good.

PO Boxes allow many Publishers to relax a bit. This is good and should have been the way it was.

The Designated Sender will be a topic I may cover in-depth in a future issue of Ezine-Tips. For now, it's critical for those who are not in compliance with rule #1 above to get on it before the end of the month. You should have done this already years ago... right? :)

[Anne's 49 Minute podcast that explains the new CAN-SPAM rules is a must-listen to MP3.]

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for June 06, 2008

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