Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

What is the CAN-Spam Act?

Ohio businesses that use email for advertising or to promote commercial services or products need to be aware of the CAN-Spam Act as violations of the act can result in fines of $16,000 for each email in violation of it. The act does not prohibit the commercial use of emails, but it does prohibit such emails from being written and sent in certain ways.

The main requirements of the CAN-Spam Act are easy to adhere to, so compliance is not difficult. Businesses are forbidden from using deceptive or misleading information in the "from" and "to" lines of the emails, and the person or business sending the email must be clearly identified. Similarly, subject lines of emails cannot be deceptive and must reflect the email's content.

The message must be clearly identified as an advertisement, and the message must include the business's location and address. Within the body, people receiving the email message must also be told how to opt out from future mailings, and any opt-out requests must be promptly granted. Businesses that rely on the services of other companies for email marketing must also monitor what those companies are doing. The business that contracts out the services will be held to be legally responsible for emails sent on its behalf.

With more and more people being on the internet, email marketing can be a savvy and cost-effective method for businesses to find new customers. Businesses should make sure they do not run afoul of the CAN-Spam Act with their email marketing strategies, however. A business law attorney might be able to help his or her business clients by making certain their email and other marketing strategies comply with legal requirements. This might in turn help avoid penalties, fines and litigation against the business and the costs and time losses associated with them.

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Cleveland, OH 44124

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