Consumer Protection Law
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So long as you're not deceptive in sender information, identify it as an ad, identify address (where you're located), as well as the opt out provisions (that would have to be strictly complied with) then this almost certainly would not violate CAN SPAM. The key is to be clear as to each of these requirements, and make certain that you're not "on the line" for any of them. So be conspicuous as to the fact that it's an ad. Don't be deceptive at all in the subject or content of the email.There's no requirement that they "opt in". the CAN-SPAM Act allows direct marketing email messages to be sent to anyone, without permission, until the recipient explicitly requests that they cease ("opt-out").
Here's a compliance guide that you can use as a checklist, but that's essentially what you have to worry about: http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
The good news is that CAN SPAM supercedes any state law on the matter, so as long as you're in compliance with the Federal law, no states can come in and tell you that you've violated a state law on the matter.
Again, there's no "opt in" requirement, so even if the recipient never agreed, so long as you comply with these requirements there's no law being violated.
My situation is that I wrote a joke book. The intent was to include a link to purchase my joke book along and include several jokes as an incentive. So I'm curious as to how to go about doing that legally.
So, are you saying I need to include my personal address?
Because that would still be an advertisement, you would need to comply with those requirements above. You're not being deceptive when you give jokes and provide a link to purchase a book.
It doesn't have to be a personal address, but to be complaint with the CAN-SPAM act, your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
OK. So I need to include the opt out feature, identify one of the types of addresses you note and identify it as an ad then I'm ok?
Pretty much, yes. Again, use that link as a checklist, but those are the primary provisions where people get tripped up.
checklist? what do you mean?
the link would go to the amazon store to purchase my book
I mean the link that I included above: http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
It's not a checklist per se, but you can use it as a "checklist" of sorts .
(not the link in your email)
ok as far as identifying it as an add. the message being to buy this book isn't obvious. i need to say in the subject or on the first line "This is an add" to be compliant?
It can say it at the end, but saying it at the beginning certainly does remove any doubt.
(often you will see emails with a small, grey "ADVERTISEMENT" at the top center... that's a good idea)
I heard about people going to jail for this type of thing so I'm trying to be as careful as possible.
Not "this" type of thing... The people that go to jail are the ones that try to deceive, that send BILLIONS of spam, that purport to come from friends email addresses, etc...
so include that ADVERTISMENT statement. i have my unsubscribe option and i need to include one of the types of addresses, anything else?
So long as you don't use false or deceptive subject lines and to / from recipient information, that's about it.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate this answer either a 3, 4, or 5 (good or better). Please note that I do not get any credit for this answer unless and until you rate it that way. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!
ok thank you
My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
no, that was all - just didn't want to go to jail
i've rated you as excellent
Understood, and thank you. Please make sure that you hit "submit" so that it will accept the rating.
(otherwise, this question does remain open until the rating goes through...)
oh will i get a transcript of this message?
before i close it
After you complete the rating, it will switch to Q&A, at which point you'll be able to print, copy and paste, etc... the information. I don't know if you're going to receive an email or any sort of "transcript", as that's outside of my control and ability.
ok thanks again and I'll close the chat after submitting your rating
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!