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Understanding how the CAN-SPAM Act affects business email

New Jersey businesses may be interested in some information about a federal law that governs their use of email in marketing or advertising their business activities. Failure to follow these regulations could land a business entity in big trouble with federal authorities, leading to large fines and other issues.

The CAN-SPAM Act governs the sending of email for commercial purposes, including both those to customers and to other businesses. Generally, this means that the email is advertising the services or product of a company, including an advertisement for the company’s website content. Certain other messages dealing with ongoing transactions must only avoid misleading or false information in the message. If the rules aren’t followed, each violation could bring with it as much as $16,000 in fines for each invalid email.

In order to stay compliant, a few requirements must be met. First, the subject line and the email address that the message is coming from must be accurately depict the content of the email and where it originated. The email must include the physical address of the company that sent it. The message must contain information identifying it as an advertisement. Lastly, there must be a way to opt out of future emails, and that opt-out request must be followed through with soon after. These rules apply to any third parties hired to do a company’s email marketing, so the company is responsible for what that third party is doing with regard to company emails.

When dealing with common business transactions like sending email, it is vital that a company stay in compliance with the law. An attorney may be able to assist them with business operations such as advertising or marketing as well as protecting their interests in other matters.

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