What Are CAN-SPAM Requirements
The CAN-SPAM Act imposes stricter requirements on Commercial email than on Transactional email. Complying with these requirements not only protects you from litigation related to the CAN-SPAM act, but also demonstrates your commitment to providing relevant messaging to your customers.
The CAN-SPAM act requires that Commercial emails, whose primary purpose is to deliver commercial content, meet the following criteria:
- Accurately identify the sender in the header information.
- Use a subject line that accurately represents the content of the email.
- Identify the message as an advertisement, unless you have express consent (opt-in) from the subscriber.
- Include your physical mailing address.
- Provide a mechanism to opt out. You cannot require a subscriber to log in or visit more than a single page to unsubscribe.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly. You must process an unsubscribe request within 10 days, and your unsubscribe mechanism must be operational for at least 30 days after the mailing.
However, Transactional messages, whose primary purpose is to communicate transactional content, are mostly exempt from all of the requirements except the first one. A transactional message is one that facilitates an already agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer about an ongoing transaction. For example, if a customer orders a product from your website, the receipt you send via email is a transactional message.
Because transactional messages are not required to honor opt-out requests, when the system sends a message that you designate as transactional, it does not prevent the message from being delivered to subscribers who have unsubscribed at any level.
You tell the system whether an email is Commercial or Transactional by associating a Commercial or Transactional send classification to it. When you create a Transactional send classification, you can choose to have the system honor list-level opt-outs by selecting the Honor source and publication list level opt outs checkbox. You can create multiple Transactional send classifications if you would like for some of your transactional messages to honor opt outs while others do not.