The CAN-SPAM Act: Requirements for Commercial EmailersEffective January 1, 2004
What the Law RequiresHere's a rundown of the law's main provisions:
It bans false or misleading header information. Your email's "From," "To," and routing information - including the originating domain name and email address - must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.
It prohibits deceptive subject lines. The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.
It requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. You may create a "menu" of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender.
It requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address. Your message must contain clear and conspicuous notice that the message is an advertisement or solicitation and that the recipient can opt out of receiving more commercial email from you. It also must include your valid physical postal address.
- Source: FTC's CAN-SPAM webpage.
FTC Revises Compliance Rules for Can Spam
The Federal Trade Commission has approved several changes to Can Spam regulations concerning compliance requirements for opting out of email lists.
New rules prohibit charging fees to opt out of email lists, or requiring individuals to provide any more information other than their email address and opt out preferences.
The changes also specify that individuals seeking to opt out of lists must be able to accomplish this task by simply sending a reply email message or by visiting a single Web page.
Another revision now allows email senders to use postal addresses and P.O. boxes as return addresses.
- Source: Direct Magazine
70 percent of “this is spam” complaints from recipients are actually legitimate newsletters, offers or notifications that people are no longer interested in receiving. - Return Path "Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012" (2012)
Despite sparking 7 in 10 spam complaints, marketing represents just 18% of email volume, and .03% of all unique domains seen by ISPs. - Return Path "Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012" (2012)
In August 2012, the global ratio of spam in email traffic rose by 4.7 percentage point since July, to 72.3 percent (1 in 1.38 emails). - Symantec "Symantec Intelligence Report: August 2012" (2012)
Despite the importance of email, companies invest a relatively small percentage of the security budget to protect it. The overall content security budget, including web and email, makes up just 7% of the security budget. - Forrester Wave "Email Content Security, Q4 2012" (2012)
Spam costs American firms and consumers almost $20 billion annually. - American Economics Association "The Economics of Spam" (2012)
Over 85% of messages received by ISPs are classified as spam. - Return Path "Sender Score Benchmark Report" (2012)
76% of traffic is stopped at the email gateway as spam or malware and does not find its way into user inboxes. - Mimecast "The Shape of Email 2012" (2012)
Only 33% are doing SPAM analysis prior to email deployment, indicating that perhaps results could improve if more marketers checked content against major SPAM tools. - Pardot "Survey Reveals Changing Role of Email Marketing" (2012)
81% of all email traffic is spam. -e-Dialog "Manifesto for E-mail Marketers: Consumers Demand Relevance" (2010)
40% of US and UK Internet Users said the reason for not regularly opening/reading email marketing messages is that they consider the message to be spam.-e-Dialog "Manifesto for E-mail Marketers: Consumer Demand Relevance" (2010)
22% of US Internet users consider messages they once requested but no longer want to be spam. - Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (2010)
4% of retailers are not in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act. That's on par with 2008 levels.- Smith-Harmon "Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study" (2010)
88% of major online retailers honor subscription opt-outs immediately or within 3 days. - Smith-Harmon "Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study" (2010)
39% of major online retailers require three or more clicks to opt-out, up from 7% in 2008. - Smith-Harmon "Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study" (2010)
30% of retailers send one or more emails following an unsubscribe request, up from 26% in 2008.- Smith-Harmon "Retail Email Unsubscribe Benchmark Study" (2010)
Image-based spam first hit 5 to 10 percent of all spam in March of 2009 before sky rocketing to 15-22 percent in April - Computer World (2010)
Spam has increased over 141% since March and also found that spam volumes grow by over 117 billion e-mails a day/ -Return Path "Top Email Trends in 2009" (2010)
94% of all email sent through servers is considered spam. - Postini (2009) 21% of all respondents said they use the "report spam" button to unsubscribe even though the email is not technically spam. - MarketingSherpa "Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008" (2008)
39% of all respondents said they used the "report spam" button often or very often. - MarketingSherpa "Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008" (2008)
B2B subscribers are twice as likely to consider email "spam" if it comes "too frequently." - MarketingSherpa (2007)
53% of consumers say email is irrelevant - David Daniels, Vice President, JupiterResearch (Dec. 2007)
40% of consumers say email comes too often - David Daniels, Vice President, JupiterResearch (Dec. 2007)
26% of consumer unsubscribe using spam button - David Daniels, Vice President, JupiterResearch (Dec. 2007)
7% of the companies surveyed continued to send messages after 10 days (from which they opted out of their email program), which is a violation of the federal Can-Spam Act. - Silverpop (2007)
30% of the companies surveyed continued to send messages for several days to people after they opted out of their programs. - Silverpop (2007)
Inbox providers, such as Yahoo, AOL and Gmail, all use the percentage of people who hit the "report spam" button for a particular sender as the No. 1 gage in considering whether to deliver incoming email to users' inboxes or not. - Direct Magazine (2007)
By all accounts, any sender who gets a complaint rate higher than 0.5% will have serious delivery issues at these ISPs. - Direct Magazine (2007)
53% say they received less spam than they did last year -- the third consecutive year in which most respondents reported a reduction. - Epsilon (2007)
30% say they use spam complaint mechanisms, while two-thirds of them equate reporting spam with unsubscribing from marketers' email programs. - Epsilon (2007)
20 percent of respondents admit to using the "report spam" button to unsubscribe. - Email Sender and Provider Coalition (2007)
More than 8 out of 10 email users have used the "report spam" button in their email clients' interfaces. - Email Sender and Provider Coalition (2007)
Nine out of 10 email users want a universal "unsubscribe" button in their email clients' interfaces, one that would send an unsubscribe request from the receiving email server to the sender's database. - Email Sender and Provider Coalition (2007)
The Spam epidemic is costing U.S. businesses $712 for each employee in lost worker productivity. - Nucleus Research (2007)
Two out of every three email messages received by today's business users are spam. - Nucleus Research (2007)
Users are spending 16 seconds identifying and deleting each spam email, which translates into an annual cost of $70 billion to all U.S. businesses. - Nucleus Research (2007)
At least 90 percent of email reaching corporate servers is spam. - Nucleus Research (2007)
The average user receives 21 spam messages to their inbox each day. - Nucleus Research (2007)