July 1st is not just Canada Day this year, but also the day where the new Canadian anti-spam Law (CASL) is put into effect. In short, any business (or individual) that communicates with their customers through email must have received consent in order to do so. As your hosting provider, we thought we would provide you some information and resources to help you ensure that you are compliant with the new Canadian anti-spam law (CASL).
Does CASL Apply To My Business?
It is rather simple to determine if you are affected by the CASL. Do you use emails to promote and communicate information on your business within Canada? If you responded “Yes” to that question, the law applies to you! If you are unsure, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you know.
What Do I Need To Do To Comply With The New Regulations?
You first have to make sure that you obtain express or implied consent from your customers (or audience). The difference between the two notions?
Express consent: the recipient has requested to receive your emails. For example, by entering their email address in a subscription field on your website, or on a form where it is explicitly indicated that you will send them emails.
Implied consent: contrarily to an express consent that never expires, this one expires after 24 months. A relationship must exist between you and the recipient. For example, after the purchase of a product or service, or obtaining a business card at a trade show.
In addition to the initial consent of your audience, you must make sure that your emails always contain the following:
- a mechanism to unsubscribe
- the name of the business sending the email
- your address
Here are some facts that will surely interest you.
- CASL replaces CAN-SPAM, the American anti-spam law from 2003 that Canada had adopted. CASL therefore represents the Canadian effort to fight spam.
- It is now impossible to send emails to purchased contact lists. Why? Easy enough: because you have never had any relationship with the recipients, thus never received implied or express consent from them.
- The new law has fines that go up to $10,000,000 for corporations and $1,000,000 for individuals. Imprisonment is also possible.
- You have 3 years to obtain express consent from your customers that would have originally provided an implied consent, allowing you to continue communicating with them in the future.
We are proud to partner with CakeMail, our email marketing solution provider, and we’re even prouder today when we see the quality of documentation they have created to explain the CASL. So before jumping to the Canadian government website that contains all the details on CASL (rather technical, using legal jargon), we highly recommend reading these articles!
- Checklist: Are you ready for CASL?
- Does CASL apply to my Business?
- Examples of express and implied consent
- CASL: At-a-glance: CASL vs CAN-SPAM