Glossary Home


What is the CAN-SPAM Act?

The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003 lays down clear guidelines for businesses that use email to communicate outside their organization. This act takes into consideration the interests of the email recipients and protects them from unsolicited emails, commercial advertisements, or promotional messages.

The CAN-SPAM Act applies to all businesses in the United States of America. . Businesses are mandated by the law to maintain transparency and clarity in their communications by following CAN-SPAM guidelines, and non-compliance with this act can be costly and damaging.


How to comply with CAN-SPAM:

Here is an outline of the requirements mentioned in the act to maintain clear and honest communication:

  1. Businesses should not hide their identity. The recipient should be able to identify the sender with their email address and domain name, and the reply-to address must be accurate.
  2. Any communication done on behalf of a business (by a third-party) must adhere to the CAN-SPAM Act. If not, both parties may have to face the consequences.
  3. Businesses must include a valid physical address in their message.
  4. If the primary purpose of communication is promotion/advertisement, it should be made clear in the email content.
  5. The subject line should give a clear idea about what to expect from an email. It should not be misleading in any way.
  6. The recipients should be given the option to opt-out or unsubscribe from all commercial emails sent by the business.
  7. All opt-out requests must be honored within 10 business days.

Note: The CAN-SPAM Act also applies to SMS and push notifications but the scope differs.