From time to time we get questions from our members and we will try to answer many of them here.

I work for an organization that has a "community" portion of its site. People sign up and among the "benefits" they get is a newsletter. There is no way to opt out of this newsletter and we get a lot of complaints about it. This organization is run by an individual who would not be likely to listen to any employee who pointed out that an opt out or unsubscribe option would not only be courteous but also probably less illegal than what we're doing now.

Q: How can we shake the boss up to alert her to the fact that people should be able to unsubscribe?

A: The practise of sending email newsletters without and unsubscribe is Illegal under the CAN SPAM act. This can result in mailings to members that actually want to receive these communications to go missing. Worse yet it may result in heavy fines and other possible legal actions if this is intentionally ignored or omitted.

Here is a summery article that talks about the CAN spam law and the requirements of a mailer:

Here's a rundown of the law's main provisions:

  • It bans false or misleading header information.
  • It prohibits deceptive subject lines.
  • It requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method.
  • It requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address.


* Each violation of the above provisions is subject to fines of up to $11,000.

Q: If I give you the company information, can you get in touch with her?

A: We know several great consultants that work in the field of email marketing we can point you in the right direction for that. However, if your worried about telling this to your employer yourself… Will they listen to anyone else?