Just over 2 years have passed since the enforcement of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. And on July 1st, 2017, the 36-month transition period provided to comply will be over. By now, you should already be able to prove that you have your contacts’ consent to send them commercial emails. But starting in July next year, any individual or organization who suffers an infraction will have the right to file a private action in court. So you will need to be especially careful.
- The content of your message must comply with the expressed consent
The permission to send informative articles doesn’t give you the right to send promotions. Make sure that your contact has accepted to receive the type of communication that you are sending.
- The sender must be well identified
You have to include contact information that allows people to reach you easily.
- Your emails must include an easy opt-out link
The opt-out process needs to be easy and simple (1 or 2 clicks) and be valid for at least 60 days after the message is sent. Also, the opt-out must be honored within 10 days.
- The implied consents’ timeframe must be respected
You can send messages as long as a business or a private relationship exists (membership of an association for example), and for a period of 24 months (2 years) after the end of that relationship. For email addresses that were retrieved following an information request or a business meeting, you can send messages for up to 6 months after the request or meeting occurred.
The Law’s impact in Canada
Eight months after the enforcement of the Law, a study from Cloudmark Inc showed a 37% decrease in the number of spams sent from Canada. And in total, Canadians have received 29% fewer emails.
Although CASL’s severe penalties could have scared many and might explain part of the decreased number of emails sent after the Law’s enforcement, Canadians still spent 21.8 million dollars in email marketing last year, which is an increase of 14.8% compared to 2014. The experts from eMarketer also foresee a 10% increase in 2016 and for the years after.
So emailing seems to have experienced a stepback in Canada after the enforcement of the Anti-Spam legislation, but this has not prevented Canadians from believing in the efficiency of that communication tool.