Share or Save

CAN-SPAM requires that you include your physical mailing address in each and every bulk mailing such as an email newsletter or other mail to a mailing list. For some reason this requirement confuses people – maybe because it’s so straight-forward, and people are used to complex, convoluted, and contradictory (the Three Cs of legislative drafting) language when it comes to the law. So what exactly does a “physical mailing address” mean in this context?

It actually means exactly what it says it is – you must include a physical address (as compared to virtual, like web or email, address) in your mailings.

This is to help demonstrate that you are a real live company, with a real physical presence and connection to both the U.S. and the state in which you do business. It is also so people can mail you something through the postal service, for example if they want to send you registered mail, and also so that they can come and find you, for example if they need to serve you with legal documents.

In addition, a secondary confusion arose when CAN-SPAM first was passed – people wanted to know if they could use a post office box for that required address, rather than their actual street address.

At that time we advised people that even though the law did not make it clear, that if they were doing everything else right under CAN-SPAM, then it was probably safe to go ahead and use the P.O. box, because we knew that the FTC had better things to do with their limited spam-fighting budget than to go after legitimate mailers for using a P.O. box if they were otherwise doing everything else right.

[This info is provided by us. We get you to the inbox. Learn how here.]

[We guess that’s one perk of having the CEO of your email deliverability company also be an Internet lawyer (one who also happened to work on the language of CAN-SPAM) – you sometimes can get free off-the-cuff legal advice!]

In any event, with the updated CAN-SPAM rules and clarifications that went into effect in May of 2016, the FTC actually confirmed our advice. So yes, straight from the horse’s mouth, you can use a P.O. box. Specifically the FTC says “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.”

Prefer to listen to the podcast? Listen on Apple, Google, Amazon, Audible, Spotify, or Anchor or say "Alexa play the Everything Email Marketing podcast"


Full Post Archives

Share or Save


One response

  1. I highly recommend using the PO Box, especially if your “physical address” is to your home office. A couple of years ago I had one of my subscribers show up at my back door… at night. Very unsettling. A PO Box is definitely worth the investment ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We are ISIPP SuretyMail, the original certified sender program and email deliverability service. Learn more here
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Blocklists and Blacklists
Content Issues
Email Authentication
Email List Building
Feedback Loops
Mailing List Hygiene
Monitoring and Tracking
Opt-in Practices
Our News
Privacy & Email Laws
Sending Practices
Spam Complaints
Technical Stuff
The Industry
Need Help Getting to the Inbox?
If you need help getting out of the spam folder and into the inbox, we're here for you. Our deliverability services come with a personal touch, and we get results. That combination has created customer loyalty that's nearly unheard of. (testimonials)
Read what we'll do for you here.

Join our email community and get
How to Stay Out of the Spam Folder 
& How to Grow Your Email List free!

 Get to the Inbox by SuretyMail
The Original Email Deliverability Company

Free stuff!
Skip to content