On July 1st the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation goes into effect, companies that do not abide by this legislation can get hit with heavy fines if they do not abide by the legislation. We’re here to break it down for you a little bit. You can find all the details on the legislation here: http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home
Broad strokes about the CASL
The CASL means that companies or individuals cannot send commercial e-mails without consent from the recipient. Penalties can go up to 1M for individuals and 10M for companies, potentially per violation. There are exceptions and implications for consent, keep on reading to see if those exceptions and implications apply to your existing e-mail relationships.
How to send a CASL compliant Commercial Electronic Message (CEM)
Your messages must have met one of the following conditions:
- If requested, you must have the ability to have proof that consent was provided, usually by a subscription log.
- You already have a pre-existing relationship(personal or business) with the recipient.
- It is in response to a request, inquiry or complaint.
Your e-mail messages must:
- Include a very clear option for recipients to opt out.
- Include contact information of the sender: Name of the sender (or the name of whose behalf they’re sending for), mailing address, phone number and e-mail address.
How to get consent
- Ask for consent and directly state why you are asking for permission to send an e-mail.
- In forms they must be opt-in, not opt-out; meaning that the check box has to be unticked in its default state.
- The sender has an existing personal or business relationship with the recipient.
- If the recipient has a published e-mail address and doesn’t state they do not wish to receive unsolicited CEM. Also the message must be related to the person’s business, role, functions or duties.
The following are exceptions from being labelled as unsolicited.
- The recipient has purchased a product or service from you in the last 24 months.
- The message is in response to an inquiry, complaint or request.
- It is notifying the recipient of a product upgrade/update or recall
- It is in correspondence of a message you received in the past 6 months
- If you are a non-profit or charity you can send unsolicited emails to fund raise.
How to prepare for the CASL
If you have a list of e-mail it would be best advised to go through that list and pick out the recipients that have expressed consent. You need records of your expressed consent. The ones that you have had an existing relationship with will qualify for implied consent but that is only applicable for 24 months! You will need to obtain express consent thereafter. If a recipient is in an unknown status, it would be best to avoid sending them any messages to avoid penalities.