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Regulatory Rules: Understanding and Complying With the CAN-SPAM Act

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Key Takeaways:

  • Every day, consumers are bombarded by billions of email messages from marketers.
  • The CAN-SPAM Act is designed to protect consumers from unwanted or inappropriate emails.
  • By understanding CAN-SPAM regulations, you can help your team maintain compliance while sending out effective email campaigns to interested customers and prospects.


With over 120 billion business emails sent and received every day around the globe, consumer email boxes are inundated with competing messages, each fighting for attention and relevancy. Nearly half of all emails are designated as spam, or unwanted messages, by weary customers and prospects and the spam filters that protect their email accounts. Add to this challenge millions of email scams that are occurring during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and you can understand why email recipients are more skeptical than ever.

As an IT professional, you are well aware of the need to guard your corporate email account against spam. On the other hand, how can you ensure important emails from your business team reach their intended recipients without getting sidetracked? One important way is to make sure all company emails are compliant with the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act. This regulatory guidance introduced in 2003 is designed to protect consumers from unwanted or inappropriate emails and is overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Here are key things to keep in mind to help you be sure your company’s employees always send emails that comply with these important guidelines.

Be Clear With Your Headers and Subject Lines

The CAN-SPAM Act was created to help prevent companies or individuals from misrepresenting themselves to email recipients, whether intentionally or unintentionally. What can you do to ensure your email communications are always “open and honest?” To be in compliance with this act, all emails from your organization must clearly and accurately identify your business beginning with the “from” and “reply to” areas of the message.

In addition, do not include misleading or deceptive information in subject lines simply to prompt recipients to open an email. This form of “clickbait” is a CAN-SPAM Act violation. Encourage your team to create subject lines that are succinct and create a sense of urgency with accurate information about your company’s brand that offers value. Email recipients should quickly get an accurate representation of who your company is, what you do and how you can help them.

Indicate That the Email is a Marketing Message

So that there are no gray areas for email recipients, the CAN-SPAM Act requires that all marketing emails clearly state that the message is an attempt by your company to gain their business. However, this does not mean you have to mention this in the subject line or opening header. As long as the email is not deceptive or misleading, it is OK to create enticing subject lines and messages that prompt recipients to open the email.

To meet this requirement, your team should include a simple sentence at the end of the email such as “This advertisement was sent to you by (your company name). It’s acceptable to “sell hard” throughout the email content – your team should just be forthright in their efforts to generate more sales and revenue. By continually being upfront about your intentions with email campaigns, your marketing team will build trust with customers and create greater brand loyalty and engagement.

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Make Opting Out of Emails Easy

Consumers say their biggest frustration with emails is their inability to quickly and easily opt out of messages they no longer want to receive. To avoid these negative feelings, your team should include an easy to find callout near the bottom of each email with a link that makes it easy for recipients to unsubscribe. This will also help your company save time and money by eliminating disinterested consumers from email campaigns so they can focus on qualified leads.

While you have 10 days to remove unsubscribed users from your email list per CAN-SPAM guidelines, try to complete this process in 48 hours or less to avoid agitating consumers and creating a negative image of your brand. Providing this level of attention to detail will leave a positive impression on potential customers who may not be ready to make a purchase from your business now but may do so in the future.

Make Sure You Have a Professional Email Account

To help your company comply with CAN-SPAM regulations and make your job easier, consider a professional email account. This will allow your employees to send emails in a safe, secure environment that is protected from cyber hackers seeking to gain access to your corporate and customer data while also helping to prevent your team’s emails from being labeled as spam. In addition, this will make it easier to control your email address and “reply to” contact information to ensure the details are consistent and accurate.

A professional email account instantly gives your business added credibility with clients and potential customers with a well-designed and organized presentation of your company’s messages. It also helps to protect your employees from cyber attacks that may compromise your company’s and clients’ important data. For your convenience, Network Solutions offers two great options – Professional Email and Professional Email Plus – designed to fit the specific and ever-growing needs of your company.

Maximize the Capabilities of Your Corporate Email Account

Maintaining compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act is critical to your company’s ability to effectively communicate with your clients and potential customers. Network Solutions specializes in helping IT professionals like you maximize the capabilities of your professional email account and efficiently manage your online marketing resources.


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