Compliance 101: Canada's Anti Spam Legislation and You

Compliance 101: Canada's Anti Spam Legislation and You

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CASL and You

As a user of email marketing, it is very important to stay updated on the latest rules and regulations that keep everything happy and problem free.

Since we know you have better things to do with your time like sit on the beach, watch reruns of Game of Thrones and of course craft your next engaging newsletter, our compliance department does their part to keep you in the know.

This month they are talking about Bill C-28. Yes, that must have you hooked to read more. Trust us, it is worth your time to read.

Canada's Anti-Spam legislation (Bill C-28) was passed in December 2010. This new law is arguably much stronger than the American CAN-SPAM act because in order to send email messages you must have permission from the recipient. According to the act, permission can be either implied or express.

Express consent is given when a user provides their information through a form or other means where it is clearly indicated what the information will be used for. For example, a user that completed a form on your website with the title "Sign up for our monthly newsletter" would mean that you have permission to send that address a monthly newsletter from the site where they signed up.

It would NOT give you express permission to send them weekly updates, promotions or any other form of marketing. Express consent is generally required to use's Email Marketing Services.

Implied consent is what many companies and marketers may have if they send primarily to their customers. Generally, if you send marketing to your existing customers or users who subscribe to a service you provide, you would be able to use's services.

However, there is an important feature of the implied consent laws, which is an expiry. You can only send to existing customers who have completed a transaction in the past two years. Generally, we find that if you haven't heard from or interacted with a user in more than one year you probably want to take them off the list anyway.

If you haven't been keeping track of when users were added to your marketing list or how you will need to start right away. You may need to stop marketing to some users if you don't want to expose yourself to potentially millions of dollars of fines for violations.

For those in the above situation, we highly recommend running re-opt in campaigns, where you ask users to confirm their desire to continue receiving messages from you. This will not only give you express consent to continue sending to your contacts, but it will also give you a cleaner, more targeted marketing list, which means better ROI for your campaigns.

See, we told you it was worth your time. If you have any other questions regarding Bill C-28 you can read the official document, or contact our compliance department at 1.877.312.4979. Trust us, they love to talk about this stuff all day long and help you become a more educated sender in the process.

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