Is sending unsolicited commercial email to non opted-in B2B clients (USA) violating CAN SPAM? How can I mark email sent clearly as an Advertisement?

Having gone through the CAN SPAM act for email marketing, need some further clarification. Their emails are in a public business directory where they have their full details along with emails.


My understanding of CAN SPAM has always been that it is just additional (and national) enforcement of deceptive practices rules. Read the guidelines from the FTC:
Which are more readable than the law. They are about truthfulness, disclosure and acting on behalf of the consumer.

So, tell them what you are doing, truthfully. Tell them who you are, and where you are. Offer unsubscribe services, and act on them right away.

I have worked with many clients whose legal guys insisted that everyone must opt-in but I don't see that anywhere. If you follow the basic FTC recommendations and stick to truthful business practices, you can "cold call" with email still.

Answered 7 years ago

Ironically, the CAN-SPAM Act was written so marketers CAN SPAM. There is no compliance requirement for opt-in nor distinction between B2B and B2C. You also don't need a label in the Subject Line (the federal law obviated the state requirements for this.)

That said, unless everyone in the public directory expects to receive spam, then sending to it is a terrible marketing practice and likely to get you blocked by ISPs and kicked off your email sending host. The two possible ways to approach this list are; 1) Pay the directory publisher to send a promotional email to this list with the advertising content, or 2) Send a 'permission pass' where the subject line and body copy are non-commercial, and simply requests their permission to send them something relevant to whatever directory they're listed in. This is ideally something non-commercial as a lead-generation vehicle like a white paper or event invite.

While email is the best and cheapest marketing vehicle ever, in a case like a directory mailing, you may find a better ROI with direct mail. It better accepted offline and since there's less of it now and more email spam--then it should provide an equal or better ROI for this type of campaignl.

Answered 7 years ago

Canada's anti-spam legislation is one of the toughest legislations in the world.

Contravention of the rules for CEMs can result in severe administrative penalties (up to $1 million per violation for individuals and up to $10 million per violation for organizations) and civil liability.

There are 3 rules to follow:

- You must receive expressed consent or implied consent to send a CEM
- You must clearly identify your company name and anyone else on whose behalf the CEM is sent to.
- In every CEM, you must provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving messages in the future
What is a CEM (Commercial Electronic Message) ?

A message across any electronic media sent with the purpose of encouraging participation in a commercial activity, sale of a product, good or service.

Types of Consent:

-Expressed Consent: Exists when the recipient provides the sender permission to send them CEM’s. Expressed consent does not expire.

-Implied Consent: Assumes that you can send CEMs to recipients, mostly with an “Existing Business” or “Non-Business Relationship” – Implied consent expires after 24 months from the most recent transaction.
How to be compliant?

Follow the 3 rules above, identify your lead acquisition channels and make sure that they clearly collect expressed consent. Make sure that your drip email marketing including your salesforce emails are compliant by including a relevant subject line, company name, address, and an opt out link.

Answered 6 years ago

Why would you even want to send unsollicited commercial email?

Trying to not be snide here, but consider: do you appreciate unsollicited email in your inbox?

Answered 5 years ago

It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law. What matters is the “primary purpose” of the message. If the message contains only commercial content, its primary purpose is commercial, and it must comply with the requirements of CAN-SPAM. It’s common for email sent by businesses to mix commercial content and transactional or relationship content. When an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor.
So, when a message contains both kinds of content – commercial and transactional or relationship – if the subject line would lead the recipient to think it is a commercial message, it’s a commercial message for CAN-SPAM purposes. Similarly, if the bulk of the transactional or relationship part of the message does not appear at the beginning, it is a commercial message under the CAN-SPAM Act.
Although the subject line is “Your Account Statement” – generally a sign of a transactional or relationship message – the information at the beginning of the message is commercial in nature and the brief transactional or relationship portion of the message is at the end. If an email advertises or promotes the goods, services, or websites of more than one marketer, there is a straightforward method for determining who is responsible for the duties the CAN-SPAM Act imposes on “senders” of commercial email. If the designated sender does not comply with the responsibilities the law gives to initiators, all marketers in the message may be held liable as senders. So, deciding if the CAN-SPAM Act applies to a commercial “forward-to-a-friend” message often depends on whether the seller has offered to pay the forwarder or give the forwarder some other benefit. For example, if the seller offers money, coupons, discounts, awards, additional entries in a sweepstakes, or the like in exchange for forwarding a message, the seller may be responsible for compliance. For example, both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that originated the message may be legally responsible. In addition, the rule requires the electronic equivalent of a “brown paper wrapper” in the body of the message. However, this requirement does not apply if the person receiving the message has already given affirmative consent to receive the sender’s sexually oriented messages.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 8 months ago

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