- My take on the law, from 2004. What’s written here still holds true, if I do say so myself.
- Full text of the law in HTML format (click here for PDF).
- Facts for Business: Requirements for Commercial Emailers. From the FTC.
- CAN-SPAM’s application regarding text messaging and email on wireless phones and other mobile devices. From the FCC.
- CAN-SPAM Rules and Notices. From the FCC.
- Complying with CAN-SPAM: A 10-Point Checklist for Marketers. From Clickz.
- People have actually been sued under CAN-SPAM: Here’s a few.
As you probably noticed while doing research online, some people recommend that if the list you are sending to isn’t opt-in, you should label your mail with a clear notice that it’s an advertisement or solicitation. They’re wrong, and here’s what you should be doing instead:
If you don't have clear consent, don’t send it.
“But the law allows it” isn’t a good enough reason. ISPs can and do block 100% legal emails all day long. Label your message as an advertisement and send it to a list that isn't opt-in and you’re asking, practically begging, for an ISP to filter or block your mail.
If it’s not opt-in, if you don’t have affirmative consent, your mail will be blocked as spam, and you’re going to create an email deliverability problem. It’s that simple.