CAN-SPAM: How to Fix It So It Stops Hurting US Businesses
CAN-SPAM is woefully out of step with subscribers’ current behaviors, email service providers’ current capabilities, inbox providers’ current demands, and the laws of other countries. In truth, if a brand only clears the low bar set by CAN-SPAM, they are pretty much guaranteed to be blacklisted and blocked by inbox providers. While on the surface, lax regulations look like an advantage to American brands, it’s really setting them up for failure.
The Federal Trade Commission is currently reviewing CAN-SPAM. Here are seven improvements to CAN-SPAM that are most urgently needed to put U.S. businesses on the path to email marketing success and make all inboxes safer…
- Make it clear that opt-outs should be honored “as soon as possible” and narrow the deadline for honoring opt-out requests to 3 business days.
- Dictate unsubscribe practices more clearly.
- Expand the definition of transactional emails to include non-promotional post-purchase emails.
- Require CAPTCHA on all open email signup forms.
- Mandate authentication and in-transit encryption.
- Require consent or an existing business relationship.
- Stipulate that prolonged non-response is the legal equivalent of opting out.