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The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing by Eric Groves

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Adhering to the CAN-SPAM Act

There are laws protecting consumers from all kinds of corrupt business practices, and spam is no exception. While this law will not stop spam, it does make most spam illegal and ultimately less attractive to spammers. The law is specific about requirements to send commercial email and empowers the federal government to enforce the law. The penalties can include a substantive fine and/or imprisonment for up to five years. The law also includes a private right of action clause for Internet Service Providers (but not for individuals) to sue a sender regarding the receipt of prohibited messages.
While I am not an attorney and therefore cannot provide legal advice, I feel it is important to provide you with Constant Contact’s interpretation of how the federal law may affect you. This is a summary of some provisions of the law and is not a full analysis of how it may apply to you. If you believe you may be affected, you should consult with your own attorney.
The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act went into effect January 1, 2004, and it preempts all state laws. This means it overrides all individual state spam laws (39 at last count). The great news is that now you only have to comply with one law—the federal law.
If you use an Email Service Provider such as Constant Contact, you are already in compliance with much of the federal law, but there are a few other things you need to know. Constant Contact’s ...

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