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Setting up a US e-zine...

Any pointers on CAN-SPAM and others?

     
2:17 pm on May 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So... setting up an e-zine (website newsletter) based at a US audience. Now, over here in Europe we have a whole bunch of legal dos and don't as regards the collection, storage and usage of personal details (names, addresses, emails).

What's it like in the States? Do I need any standard disclaimer on the membership / ezine signup? Can I make the ezine signup optout when signup up as a member? And can anybody provide me with the links to the full text of CANSPAM and other appropiate links?

Cheers guys!

3:48 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sanenet, don't substitute WebmasterWorld for proper legal advice - if in doubt check with an attorney in familiar with the specific jurisdictions involved.

CANSPAM targets unsolicited commercial e-mail, and I'd guess most newsletter publishers have never peeked at the details (though maybe they should).

In general, good business practice suggests that you should do a double opt-in (to avoid unauthorized signups) and include easy and complete removal instructions in each e-mail. I think CANSPAM includes something about a postal address (sorry, didn't have time to look this up) - even if the law doesn't apply, complying with its removal & contact info requirements would be a good idea.

4:58 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, not asking for full "legal" advice, just wondering whether anybody had any tips or pointers for setting up a newsletter orientated towards US?
5:43 pm on May 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It's doubtful you'll have legal problems if you use double opt-in and have good removal instructions.

A bigger hassle may be deliverability. Big ISPs like AOL are blocking many, many kinds of mail, and newsletters are particularly vulnerable.

Even if you have good removal instructions, some percentage of your users will click the "spam" button to block your mail. If you have a lot of subs, too, the large number of identical e-mails may raise a flag, too.

About all you can do is make removal as easy and obvious as possible, and stay on top of bounces to spot problems early. The ISPs do have appeal mechanisms if you get tagged as a spammer.

8:21 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Aye, I've run into all of these problems before. še le vie!

Thanks for the help rogerd.

12:10 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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NB."c'est la vie" pas
še le vie!
...
t'est ou toi?! : )
12:12 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Je ne sais pas?!
Note to self: When trying to appear witty and european, make sure you spell it properly. :)