Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

Physical addresses in emails


#1

Potential Snappy customer @kalenjordan (he’s on the trial!) pointed out to me that the Snappy marketing emails (and HelpSpot and everything else we send) don’t have physical addresses in them. After some research it appears that the bureaucrats in the US Government who don’t understand the internet really do have this as a law.

Not sure how I didn’t know this :smile:

Anyway, before I go through the annoying process of worthlessly adding our PO box to every email we send does anyone have any info on this that would imply we don’t need to do this?


#2

Sorry @ian I was hoping you had some info that i didn’t and they weren’t necessary! :slight_smile: Gotta love the bureaucrats!


#3

It has to do with the CAN-SPAM act.

Here’s the relevant info

The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers 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. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

The 4th requirement is the reason for the physical addresses in emails:

4. Tell 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.


#4

Have to weight if I’d rather just move out of the country than do this. It’s close :slight_smile:


#5

Thanks @paulyoder - Adding a task to my Trello backlog right now…


#6

I you use something like Mailchimp, they have always forced you to enter your physical address. I avoided using them (or any email service) for many years because of this.

That only changed when I formed a limited company. You can use your accountant’s address as your “official” business address when registering the company (at least in UK), and that’s the address I give to Mailchimp. They told me they are also happy with PO Box addresses.


#7

We have something similar in the UK, under the companies act. E-mails are classed as business letters, so have to have the company’s registered name, registration number, place of registration and registered office address.

Fwiw, the same law also applies to websites, although they were already covered by the e-commerce regulations which require you to publish that and a load more information, like your VAT number and a valid email address (which you can’t hide behind a contact form).