Earlier today, I received an email from an old shopping habit. I used to shop at Antropologie, but haven’t stepped in store in a few months. My last item was purchased there over 4 months ago. Imagine my surprise when this popped into my inbox….

Anthropologie Violates the CAN-SPAM Act

It’s almost difficult to believe. On February 27th, they emailed me my receipt. A receipt, I never opened and that until today, sat buried in my inbox. From that emailed receipt, they kept my address on-file and proceeded to sign me up for their newsletter, which is highly illegal. Antropologie tried to give me a cute reason as to why I was getting the email. They said…

When you said, “email my receipt,” we heard, “let’s keep in touch.” That’s why you’ll soon be looped into seasonal must-haves, online exclusives, special sales and other exciting things.

Well, this is awkward. Anthropologie just became the poster hipster, of what not to do with email marketing. The only thing Anthropologie’s email did correctly, was to have an unsubscribe link at the bottom, with their address. Everything else, was an offense that carries a fine of up to $16,000.  I don’t know about you, but I could always use a little extra shopping money,  which according to the CAN-SPAM Act, I’m entitled to.

Want to know how to stay, “in-compliance” with Email Marketing regulations? The CAN-SPAM Act dictates the following:


Most importantly, the CAN-SPAM Act dictates that you cannot collect an email address for one purpose and use for another. Emailing me my receipt was one thing, and using my email for marketing is another. I never opted-in to the latter. The CAN-SPAM law dictates that since I provided my email for an email receipt  it’s transactional and not to be used for anything else and should be stored separately. 

Joining a transactional message with a relationship message when your customer hasn’t opted-in, could cost you thousands, but more importantly, it can cost you credibility. Companies like Anthropologie, need to be aware of marketing best practices and consumer protection laws. Deceptive email marketing taints the water for all companies trying to gain higher conversion numbers and it also taints my perception of their brand.