To combat spam emails, many countries — including the United States and Canada — have enacted anti-spam legislation. Email marketers must be careful not to run afoul of these laws. In many cases, marketers are also subject to the anti-spam laws of the countries where their recipients reside, even if they don’t live or do business there.
While the laws vary from country to country, many of the crucial elements are very similar across borders:
- An email message’s “From” label needs to be the sender of the email
- The subject line has to reflect what’s actually in the email
- A way to unsubscribe must be included in the email
- Subscribers to your list must have actively opted into the list, not been purchased
This infographic outlines some of the anti-spam laws around the world. You can find a longer list of anti-spam information and regulations below the graphic.
More information on various countries’ anti-spam legislation is listed below. And don’t forget it’s easy to see where your recipients are picking up your email messages by using VerticalResponse’s Advanced Reporting.
United States of America: CAN-SPAM Act
Argentina: Personal Data Protection Act
Australia: Spam Act 2003
Austria: Austrian Telecommunications Act
Belgium: Belgium Law March 11, 2003
Brazil: Movimento Brasileiro de Combate ao Spam
Cyprus: Regulation of Electronic Communications and Postal Services Law 2004
Czech Republic: Act No. 480/2004 Coll. on Certain Information Society Services
European Union: Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications
Finland: Act on Data Protection in Electronic Communication
France: Law of June 21 2004 for Confidence in the Digital Economy
Germany: Federal Data Protection Act
Hong Kong: Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance
Indonesia: Law Concerning Electronic Information and Transactions
Ireland: European Communities Electronic Communications Networks and Services Data Protection and Privacy Regulations of 2003
Israel: 2008 Amendment to the Communication Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law of 1982
Italy: Italian Personal Data Protection Code
Japan: Act on Regulation of the Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail
Malaysia: Communications and Multimedia Act of 1998
Malta: Data Protection Act
Netherlands: Dutch Telecommunications Act
New Zealand: Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007
Singapore: Spam Control Act 2007
South Africa: Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002
South Korea: Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection
Spain: Information Society Services and Electronic Commerce Act
Sweden: Swedish Marketing Act
United Kingdom: Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance. This post is not intended as legal advice. If you need additional information about complying with anti-spam legislation, please consult a legal professional or the relevant governing authority.
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