According to the updated unsubscribe provisions in the 2008 revision of the CAN-SPAM Act, all commercial email has to enable recipients to unsubscribe via a link to a single Internet page or via replying to the message.
Specifically, the Act says,
“(1) an e-mail recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her e-mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future e-mail from a sender”
While replying to an email is acceptable in the eyes of the law, an unsubscribe link is a much better consumer experience. Plus, it provides the email marketing expert an opportunity to preserve the relationship by serving up information adjacent to the unsubscribe form that includes a link to a preference center where subscribers can choose to update the frequency or topic focus of the emails they are receiving.
If you insist on having your subscribers hit the "Reply" button, you better make sure you monitor that inbox and removing the addresses within the 10 days required by law. And, you better make sure the mailbox doesn't get full and send an error message, as what happened to me yesterday.
If you follow this e-mail marketing tip, it will mean that the mailer will have some splainin' to do to the FTC.
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