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What All Email Marketers Need to Know About California’s New Sender ID Law

Written on
Mar 29, 2012 
Author
Wikus Engelbrecht  |

GRAPHICMAIL - A few weeks ago, the California appellate court made a new ruling about email sender identification that will greatly affect marketers across the U.S.: From now on, commercial email advertisements (in other words, only email sent specifically to sell a product or advertise a service) must include a domain name that is registered to the sender in the “from” line of the email, or the name of the sender or marketer on whose behalf the email was sent, to help prevent people from getting commercial emails that contain false or misrepresenting header information.

All American businesses need to be concerned about the California spam law, because if you are advertising to somebody in California, then you are under California’s jurisdiction and subject to their laws.

To be fully compliant with the law, email marketers within the U.S. need to do the following:

1. The best thing to do, ideally, is to use your own domain — not, for example, an @gmail.com or an @yahoo.com account — as your “from” address.

2. If, for some reason, you cannot do that, make sure your company name is clearly stated in the from name (such as “tomsflowers@gmail.com”).

3. Once you’ve done that, you need to make sure that your “from” domain (for example, “tomsflowers.com”) has a whois.com record that any member of the public can look up.

4. Lastly, make sure that all the information in your whois.com listing is correct and that your registered address corresponds with the physical address in your email footer.

What this law is really all about

Overall, the intention behind the new statute is to make commercial emails more traceable and to reduce some of the deliberate misrepresentation that has become commonplace in the digital world today.

As long as you’re not using nonsense or random domain names to try and evade spam filters and fool readers about what you’re offering or who you are, and as long as you’re making an effort to identify yourself — your email marketing campaigns will be on the right side of the law.





Wikus Engelbrecht is a writer, journalist and digital poet at GraphicMail, an international email and mobile marketing service provider. His professional career in language and media has traveled the film, print advertising, magazine publishing, food theatre and online content industries since 2003.

Reader Comments.

Maybe one should look at another marketing opportunity and that is the emails we all send every day. I represent a company that has developed a solution for just those emails and thus this post.
The basic idea behind WRAPmail is to utilize the facts that almost everyone have websites (corporate and/or social network site) and also send emails every day. These emails can become complete
marketing tools and help promote, brand, sell and cross-sell in addition to drive traffic to the website and conduct research. WRAPmail is available for free (with 3rd party ads) or for a small license fee at http://www.wrapmail.com.
WRAPmail also helps search for missing children with every email sent by incorporating an optional RSS feed from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Posted by Rolv Heggenhougen | 8:23 am on March 30, 2012.

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