If you are asking this question in regards to sending out commercial emails, you must read this post.
Because Email Marketing is a very cost-effective way for businesses to advertize and stay connected with their clients, many small businesses become tempted to cash in on this opportunity and collect as many email addresses as they can to send emails to them. We often field the question from clients new to Email Marketing, "Can't I send an email out to just anyone?" Well, in the early days of email communication, the door was wide open and you could send emails to whomever you wanted. But that is not the case today.
And here's why - due to the deluge of spam and unsolicited emails that ensued, the government put regulations in place to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited emails.The regulation is called the CAN-SPAM Act and it is "a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations." It is a very important law with which to become acquainted.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection's website goes on to state that "despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as 'any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,' including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law."
"Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly." To help you get to know how you can be in compliance with the law, here is a link to the Bureau's website providing a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:
CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business