A question I get surprisingly often in my inbox:

Hey Justin — do I really need to include a physical address in my email newsletter?

This is a reasonable question! Going from cyberspace into the physical world via an address (especially if it’s your home address) sends all sorts of red flags, I’m sure.

Sadly (or not sadly, depending on your perspective), the answer is yes. You need a physical address!

Your ESP (whether that’s Buttondown or someone else) asking for a physical mailing address is standard practice, and you should actually be a little alarmed if you aren’t being asked for one. This is because of the CAN-SPAM Act:

Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.

Some good tips to comply with the law while remaining safe and practicing good opsec:

  1. Use a snail mail address. This has to be an actual physical address. 1
  2. Don’t use your actual home’s address. Rent a P.O. box, an office, or something along those lines. These generally cost around five bucks a month and are well worth it.
  3. Wait for our official newsletter address. Like our friends at ConvertKit, I’m in the process of setting up a physical P.O. box that will be available for all Buttondown users to use; I’ll be the proxy for any legal questions or complaints!
  1. Buttondown doesn’t do any enforcement or analysis of your address. 

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