Although a majority of the companies tracked provide ways for recipients to opt out of e-mail mailing lists, as required by the federal Can-Spam Act, nearly a fourth of them continued to send e-mail messages to recipients who had submitted requests to unsubscribe, according to the report, which was released this week.
The law requires marketers to reconcile their mailing lists once a week, based on feedback from opt-out requests, but a quarter of marketers indicated that they delete e-mail addresses on a monthly basis, quarterly or never. Many companies even stated in e-mail footers that they could not comply with the law's 10-day standard.
Jupiter Research tracked 55 leading e-mail marketers in sectors such as retail, travel, media and financial services. The, short for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, establishes nationwide standards for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail. It was enacted in December.
Junk e-mail is considered a problem, because it clogs Internet arteries and wastes workers' time. E-mail service providers like Yahoo and America Online have filed. But opponents of the Can-Spam Act by laying down rules for sending unsolicited mail.
The Jupiter Research study found that while 21 percent of the marketers allow consumers to simply reply to an e-mail to opt out, about one-third said within their e-mails that "Replies to this e-mail will not be processed."
The Can-Spam Act requires that messages include a valid physical address of the sender, but only 64 percent actually include a street address, according to the report. While the law does not specify that a street address should be included, recent comments from the Federal Trade Commission indicate that an alternative such as a post office box does not meet the law's requirement, Jupiter said.