CAN-SPAM updates from the FTC

Does your business send e-mail to customers and/or potential customers? If so, you cannot afford to miss this brief article detailing important changes in FTC regulations. Updated CAN-SPAM rules became official in May, and they may well affect your email marketing efforts.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a report on changes to the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM) on May 12, 2008. These new rule regulations may affect your email marketing, so read on to make sure you are up to date on the latest guidelines. The changes took effect July 7, 2008.

The key modification you need to know: Provide in your emails a simple, hassle-free and cost-free way to unsubscribe from your list. This means you can no longer require your email recipients to log into their account and go through a series of steps to modify their subscription. According to the FTC announcement, you may not ask email recipients to "take any steps other than sending a reply email message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future emails from a sender." You also cannot ask your email recipients to "pay a fee, provide information other than his or her email address and opt out preferences."

You can access the entire report at the FTC website.