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CAN SPAM Act requires telling your email recipients where you're located:

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.

The FDC defines the CAN SPAM Act as including "all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites".

Some emails are sent without explicit commercial content. For example:

  • A user signs up and receives a verification email
  • After confirming account, they receive a welcome email
  • If they request a password reset, they get an email with password reset link
  • When they complete a purchase, they get an email confirmation their purchase
  • When tracking information is available they get tracking
  • After completing a purchase, they're asked to leave feedback or a review for the product they purchased

Does any of this constitute commercial advertisement or promotion? Would a business be required to include a business address at the end every email sent from the list above?

Thanks

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All oif those except perhaps the feedback seem to be "transactional" content to which the CAN SPAM requirements do not apply. The feedback request looks to me as if it first the 'other" class in the linked FAQ, and so also would not trigger the requirements.

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  • Upvoted, excellent response. 1) It seems content classified as "other" would trigger CAN SPAM requirements only if it also included commercial content and the commercial content appeared at the beginning of the email? 2) Can the feedback email be viewed as a transactional since it is a direct result of the recipient transacting on the site? On the other hand, perhaps the primary factor is who is receiving the main benefit - the client or the site? In the case of request to leave feedback I would assume the primary beneficiary is the website owner.. – S.O.S Jan 29 at 4:31
  • Also it seems that whether content is classified as transactional vs. "other" if it also includes "commercial content" the criteria to judge content type is basically the same - whether the recipient is likely to conclude that it is primarily transactional or primarily commercial. Is there a real difference between transactional type email and "other" in this regard when they both include commercial content? – S.O.S Jan 29 at 4:34
  • correct but for the purchase information mail: that one needs to contain some of the business information as required by tax laws. – Trish Jan 29 at 10:41
  • @Trish "purchase information mail" you mean the one sent confirming the purchase? Would the "business information" be required even if the user receives another confirmation email from the payment processor? Can you provide a link to this law so I can look into it? Thanks – S.O.S Jan 29 at 18:44
  • @S.O.S ask your company lawyer. But at least in the EU all mails about a purchase need to contain contact information to the company and any bills or invoices need to have all necessary information under tax law. – Trish Jan 29 at 19:04

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