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Reciprocal Link Exchanges & The CAN-SPAM ACT

The New Anti-Spam Law And Linking Campaigns

Originally Published: February 10, 2004

Some webmasters fear that it might not be legal anymore to contact potential link partners by email. Of course, that's not the case. Contacting webmasters to ask for a reciprocal link is perfectly legal with the new law.

The new legislation makes it illegal for spammers to send misleading emails. It also makes it easier for legitimate email marketers to comply with a single set of laws.

  • All commercial email must not present misleading information in the From field or header information.
  • All commercial email must include a link for (and, of course, honor) unsubscribe requests.
  • All commercial email must conspicuously state that all commercial, promotional mail is an advertisement, unless all recipients have opted in.
  • You must not use deceptive subject headings.

It's Perfectly Legal To Send Link Exchange Messages

As you can see, it's perfectly legal to send link exchange messages. You only might have to consider a few points.

When sending link exchange email messages to potential link partners, don't sell any product in your email message but ask the webmasters for a reciprocal link. Of course, you must use your real email address when asking for reciprocal links.

A significant change to you is that this new legislation requires that you include a valid, physical mailing address in all email campaigns.

This means that you should add your mailing address to your link exchange email messages, for example in your signature. If you read the tips and tricks we gave in this newsletter in the past, you already know that complete contact information in your email messages improves the response rate to your link request messages.

To Be On The Safe Side, Do The Following In Your Link Exchange Messages:

  1. Add your full mailing address to your link exchange messages.
  2. Add a "Remove" part to your link exchange message.

You can do all this in your email signature, for example

The new CAN-SPAM ACT can make life easier for all of us. If you want to learn more about the new law, visit this page. Further information on how to write an effective link request email message can be found in our free ebook.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. Contact a lawyer for legal advice. You might have different laws in your country or state.

Editor's Note: Also see: Reciprocal Link Exchanges & Spam Filters

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