CASL Compliance: Coming to a Newsletter Near You July 1, 2014

June 4, 2014

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is coming into effect July 1, 2014. With penalties as high as $10 million for companies found to be in violation of CASL, compliance is very important. And because it would be up to you to prove you are in compliance, we strongly recommend keeping records of all newsletter signups.

You can learn all about CASL on the official website, fightspam.gc.ca, but we know that it can be confusing so we thought we'd highlight the major items for you. CASL applies to all forms of electronic messages (email, SMS, instant messaging, etc.) but we're focusing on email newsletters and promotional emails for this blog post.

 

 

Permission, Permission, Permission!

Make sure you have permission to contact the people on your mailing list. CASL identifies two types of permission:

1. Express Permission: You have explicitly ask for permission to send these people email and they agreed. When you get express permission, you must also provide them with your company's:
   •  Name (or your name if you do not have a company)
   •  Address
   •  Website
   •  Phone number
   •  Physical address
   •  Electronic newsletter provider (for example, Constant Contact)

2. Implied Permission: You have an existing relationship with this contact through your business or organization. However, these contacts can only remain on your list for two years. So if they are not converted to express permission by that date, you must remove them from your newsletter system. (For implied permission received before July 1, 2014, you will have three years from when CASL goes into effect. So they must be converted to express or removed by July 1, 2017.)

Easy Unsubscribe

An easy unsubscribe link must be included in every email newsletter you send. If you are using one of the major newsletter platforms like Constant Contact, these links are automatically inserted for you. But if you have a custom-built system, be sure to talk to your programmer!

Identify Yourself

Make sure your name or business name is clearly identified as the sender as well as in the body of the email. You must also include a current mailing address, phone number, email address, or web address. Many email newsletter platforms have a spot for these in the footer of the email, you just have to make sure they're filled out.

Don't Be Misleading

This one's pretty easy to follow, just don't lie! Don't misrepresent yourself or try to mislead your contacts with false information or sneaky language in your subject line or in your message.

 

Have more questions about CASL? Contact the team at Better Mousetrap for a one-on-one consultation and review of your newsletter setup.

 

 

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