Q&A: CAN-SPAM and the email “From”

Q: Dear EmailKarma,

Is it always necessary to say the offer is an advertisement in the subject line or are you still compliant if you say “special offer from an advertiser” in the body of the email? Is it necessary to state it in both body and subject line?

Currently all our special offers have a generic ‘from’ address or “advertiser@newsletterdomain.com“. I’m wondering what the best way is to display a ‘from’ address when you are a newsletter sending a special offer from an advertiser. Would we still be CAN-SPAM compliant if we use the advertiser’s name such as: CorpBrand@newsletterdomain.com, or adv.CorpBrand@newsletterdomain.com?

Thanks,
FromQ

A: Hello FromQ,

Please do not take this as legal advice only EmailKarma’s interpretation. For legal interpretation of your specific case, EmailKarma recommends you engage your companies legal council for a full review of the messages your sending

A couple different questions here today.

First: Identifying messages as advertisements.

CAN-SPAM reads that a “clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation” is required only if the sender is lacking the affirmative concent of the individual that they are sending email to. Sec 5(a)(5)(A) (i) and 5(a)(5)(B)(A)(i). There is no guidance on the location of this notice only that it must be “Clear and Conspicuous” – Recommendation: Top/centre of the message body.

Second: The From Address.

Being as clear as possible with your from address is key to getting your message delivered. The ESPC released the following information showing how powerful your from address is when delivering to consumers:

80 percent decide whether to click on the “Report Spam” or “Junk” button without opening the actual message;

  • 73% base the decision on “FROM”
  • 69% base the decision on “SUBJECT”

Using easily recognizable from name will help with recognition and will generally help by lifting interaction with your messages, and reduce complaints from unrecognized messaging. Generally I recomend using your brand, where the consumer opted in (whenever possible) on the left side of the email and the left most part of your subject line.

Like this:

  • From: CorpBrand@newsletterdomain.com
  • Subject: CorpBrand newsletter

Hope this helps.

Do you have a question for EmailKarma? Email them to contact or leave a comment.

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

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