September 1, 2020 Vanessa Niragira
We talked about the CAN-SPAM Act in another blog, so let’s talk about Canada for a moment and how this affects both Canadian and American marketers reaching Canadian consumers.
So what is CASL? The Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (known as CASL) is a law that was passed in 2014, which came into effect. This law protects both consumers and businesses from the misuse of digital technology, this could mean spam or any electronic threats.
What Is Considered Spam?
- Unauthorized alteration of transmission data
- Installation of computer programs without consent
- False/misleading electronic representations (including but not limited to websites)
- Collecting and/or using electronic addresses without consent
- Collecting personal information by accessing a computer system/electronic device illegally
What Should I Keep In Mind?
- CASL applies to everyone — individuals, incorporated and unincorporated businesses, not-for-profit organizations, etc., — who sends electronic messages for commercial purposes
- Under CASL, electronic messages can include emails, SMS text messages, instant messages and messages sent through social networks
- CASL defines a CEM (Commercial Electronic Message) as a message that encourages participation in a commercial activity. This includes advertisements and information about promotions, offers, business opportunities, events, etc.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
This means that there is not one but three things to keep in mind with regards to emailing throughout North America (realistically this is something for marketers in both the US and Canada to keep in mind).
For any email campaign throughout North America, companies and agencies have to follow the:
- Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL)
- Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
What Are The Rules of CASL Compliance?
- Opt-In Forms Are a Must – since CASL is an opt-in law, you need to obtain the consent of the recipient before sending out an email to them. Additionally, you must keep a record of said consent, so that you’re able to prove you have consent.
- Opt-Outs Must Be Easy – the opt-out/unsubscribe button must be clearly displayed as well as have clear instructions on how to do so with ease.
- Company Information Must Be Displayed – All emails you send must have the details of your company also clearly visible. Such details include:
- Mailing address
- Telephone number with an active voicemail, email address, or website address
- Must Honour Unsubscribe Requests – Any and all unsubscribe requests must be accepted and taken off the email list promptly
Express vs Implied Consent
- Implied Consent – Reasonably concluded that you have someone’s permission to send them a CEM based on prior relationships.
- (Also applies) when someone has conspicuously published their email address (e.g. on a website).
- Express Consent – Must be obtained in a clear way by:
- Clearly describing the purposes for requesting consent
- Providing the name of the person requesting consent and identify whose behalf consent is sought (if different)
- Providing contact information (address/phone number/email) of the parties seeking consent
- Indicate the recipient can unsubscribe
Think you’ve got a good grasp on emailing laws? Find out if your brand is Emailing Too Much! Or find out how to Get More Email Signups to Your Contest Landing Page.
Vanessa Niragira, Oakville, Ontario, Sept 2020