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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 117375
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I had a question about the CAN-SPAM act and how we are

Customer Question

Hello,I had a question about the CAN-SPAM act and how we are allowed to collect and send marketing emails to customers. I hope this is the correct category.About us: We are a food tech startup in San Francisco, CA.When customers signup on our website, they see the first thing a pop-up asking them to confirm their email address, their phone number (optional), etc.Under their email address, we have a pre-checked box saying "Let me know about company news and special offers". If they pre-check this box, they automatically have unsubscribed from our mailing list without ever having given us a chance to send them a marketing email and then deciding to unsubscribe. At the same time, we use Mailchimp to send out all of our marketing emails where the customers have the ability to unsubscribe from our mailing list with just a button click at the bottom of the email.My question is: Is it possible to remove the sentence "Let me know about company news and special offers" along with its check box so that customers who signup on our website at the very least receive their first marketing email before they decide if they want to unsubscribe or not?Thank you in advance!
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under CAN-SPAM, if you have a website, you need to have unchecked boxes that give the visitor the option of opting into receiving emails. If you do not give them the option until they get their first marketing email, this would be a violation of not just CAN-SPAM but also if by chance it goes to someone in Canada, it would violate the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which requires customers have the choice to opt in to receive emails and that they check the box themselves and is more strict than CAN-SPAM.
As far as emails you take from web spider programs, CAN-SPAM prohibits the use of web crawlers or spider programs that harvest emails and if you use one to send emails, even if the email is CAN-SPAM compliant, you could still be sued for violation of CAN-SPAM and CASL as well.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello, thank you for your response and sorry for my late response. But when I look at websites like, they don't even ask you if you want to receive marketing emails but yet, they still send them to you. Why can they do it?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
They send emails to subscribers of the service or people who sign up for their site, but emails to non-subscribers are still prohibited. However, the information I provided you is direct from the CAN-SPAM laws themselves and the requirements are still that people have to opt in for emails.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your note.
I'm trying to understand this fully: So when people signup on our site (just like they would on Uber). Why would they have to explicitly opt-in to receive marketing emails and why don't users on Uber have to explicitly confirm to marketing receive emails?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
With Uber or Lyft they are providing a subscription service for which you must register and receive communications. Just going on Uber or Lyft does not let them send you emails, but you registering to use their ride share service means you have to get information from them. If you are actually providing a service to your customers that they are buying from you then when they sign up you can send them emails without opt in as well.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your response. But they don't provide a subscription service. You pay for Uber or Lyft on a per-use-basis. Our site is a marketplace. We are a marketplace where you can book chefs to come to your place and cook for you. This means you signup and when you signup, you leave your email address(just like with Uber/Lyft). You pay, whenever you book a chef to come to your place and cook for you.
How would we be different from Uber/Lyft?