Can we add everyone in our school to our e-mail list?

Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 15:07

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We want to add everyone in our school to our e-mail newsletter list. Is this allowed within spam regulations?
As long as the e-mail addresses have been lawfully obtained (for example, not hacked or secretly copied by a student while working in an administrative office, etc.) and your newsletters are primarily informational, rather than commercial, the law should present no problem. The federal CAN-SPAM Act protects people from unwanted commercial solicitations (those primarily promoting a product or service). Even if you carry some ads, that doesn't change the primary purpose of your news product.
Because federal law does limit school officials from disclosing certain student records and information, it is probably best that a student and not a faculty member obtain and add the e-mail addresses to the newsletter database. Also, while not required by the law, you can avoid much grumbling by prominently providing e-mail recipients an opportunity to opt-out of future mailings. 
Read more about the act.


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