BOX 11.1: THE CAN-SPAM ACT

The CAN-SPAM Act establishes requirements for senders of commercial e-mail to consumers. The act became effective on January 1, 2004. Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, the act includes heavy penalties for violators. The main provisions are as follows:

  • Header information—routing information and information in the “From” and “To” lines—cannot be false or misleading.
  • Subject lines cannot mislead recipients about the contents of the message.
  • A return e-mail address or other mechanism must be included to allow recipients to opt out of receiving future messages, and these requests from recipients must be honored.
  • A clear notice must be included that notifies recipients that the message is an advertisement and that provides a valid physical postal address for the sender.

For more information, visit http://www.ftc.gov/spam/.

BOX 11.2: ARE YOU READY TO GO ONLINE?

Here are some points to consider:

  • Who are your target customers? Do they use the Internet?
  • What information would your Web site provide? How can your customers use it?
  • How does your e-commerce strategy fit into your overall exporting objectives?
  • How effectively can you provide service that is personalized and customized?