Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. decided that 2004 would be the year to significantly increase its e-mail sales and marketing efforts. The e-mail program would be part of a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy that would enable the insurer to generate sales for such products as life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, hospital indemnity and medical supplement.In the big picture, the electronic marketing effort was just a fraction of the Omaha, Neb.-based insurance and financial services giant's ambitious multimedia marketing strategy, which includes television, telemarketing and direct mail.

But as the New Year dawned, so did a new federal regulation-the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act. The law was designed to prohibit companies from sending fraudulent e-mails, as well as transmitting e-mails after objections from recipients.

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