|Received:||4/15/2004 7:24:32 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Re: CAN-SPAM Act Rulemaking, Project No. R411008 SPAM is a problem we all want addressed. However, I am concerned about the proposed suppression list requirement. Please examine carefully the full impact of this action. I use opt-in lists for my newsletter. I can assure you I only want subscribers who actually want my newsletter. This requirement will severely damage my ability to legitimately communicate with my subscribers. My emails include reminders to visit my website to read new articles. There are links on some of the webpages for services. That is not the point of the email and it is not the focus of the email. The primary purpose of my emails is to build credibility with the reader. Did you know: 1. Most spammers aren’t in the USA (80% are overseas). These requirements won't be effective with those causing the majority of the problem. 2. The cost to implement these requirements will put many small companies out-of-business. Compiling and sending the email address of all subscribers who opted out to ALL of your affiliates and ALL of the service/product providers with which you advertise can be huge AND it will be an ON-GOING COST. Add to that the cost for the technology to set this up and the time to implement, maintain and utilize the list. It’s a huge, on-going expense that many small businesses cannot handle. Without talent in-house, businesses will have to hire someone to set-up and maintain the suppression list, and distribute updated lists every 10 days. Small companies and fledging businesses just can't handle that expense. Many companies who build and maintain their business through the Internet will be wiped-out. Here's why this is important. The Internet opened the door of opportunity to many to have a business, particularly those who, like me, live in an area where the business would not thrive from just local clients. The Internet provides a level playing field - these requirements take us back where we were: needing large amounts of capital for any real chance of sustained success. We’ve worked hard to build our businesses. These requirements have the potential to yank business success right out from underneath us. 3. What's to stop a client who loves my service from sending out emails telling people to check it out? I appreciate clients who tell their colleagues what a great service they got. Word-of-mouth is how most professionals grow their business. But I can't afford to have my business penalized or shut down because of somebody else's enthusiasm. 4. Let's face it. It is not practical to think that an e-publisher can customize each newsletter for each customer based on what products that customer does NOT want to receive notices. When you subscribe to print magazines, you get all the ads that are in the magazine. If IBM receives a request from someone to opt out of their mailing list, IBM doesn’t contact every magazine they advertise with and ask them to remove their ads from the publications sent to that person. It is no different with e-newsletters. In your example, if there are four ads in the publication, the publisher would have to customize each e-newsletter sent out based on who opted out from the advertising company's list. This would require 16 different versions of the newsletter and they would have to make sure that the right version went to the right person - EACH TIME the newsletter was sent out. Calculate the amount of time this would take manually. Consider the cost of technology to automate. It’s not practical. The spammers - most of whom aren’t in the USA - would continue violating the rules. Legitimate business owners struggling to comply will see their costs escalate while their revenues drop. This is no real solution - it just creates more fall-out for American businesses. Can we count on you to examine the impact of this requirement and weigh it carefully against the supposed benefit?