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When can I send email messages to consumers in the US?
When can I send email messages to consumers in the US?
Jinesh Shah avatar
Written by Jinesh Shah
Updated over a week ago

Note: This information is not legal advice. While we do our best to provide useful information and context as a starting point, Endear advises all brands to obtain professional legal advice to ensure that all their messaging is sent in compliance with applicable laws.

Sending email messages in the US

Email messaging in the US is governed by the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act). It is a federal law that covers the use of “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.”

When do CAN-SPAM Act requirements need to be followed?

If the message contains only commercial content, then it must comply with the requirements of CAN-SPAM. If it contains only transactional or relationship content, then it is exempt from most provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act.

  • Commercial content – advertises or promotes a commercial product or service, including content on a website operated for a commercial purpose

  • Transactional or relationship content – facilitates or updates a customer on an already agreed-upon or ongoing transaction or recent customer activity

Do I need customers to consent to marketing to send them an email?

The CAN-SPAM Act does not require consent to email a consumer, but it does require providing an opt out, which Endear will do automatically on your behalf.

What the requirements for the CAN-SPAM Act?

  • Don’t misidentify or obscure the official business sending the email - Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To," domain name and email address must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message. For the most part, Endear handles this for you automatically; however, it is your responsibility to provide Endear with accurate information about your business.

  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines - The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.

  • Identify the message as promotional - The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is promotional.

  • Tell recipients where you’re located - Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations. Endear allows you to add your brand or store's physical address to every email you send within the signature of the email.

  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future marketing email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting marketing email from you in the future. Endear will automatically provide an unsubscribe link in every email to ensure customers have that option available

  • Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. Endear will automatically mark recipients as unsubscribed for you when they click the unsubscribe link in an Endear email. In addition, we provide multiple mechanisms to easily synchronize email subscriptions across systems.

Further reading

If you are curious to dive further in to CAN-SPAM, here are some articles you may consult:

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