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CASL: The Canadian Anti-Spam Legistlation

Just about every country has some type of legislation in effect, that governs spam emailing. Some are stricter than others, but it’s important to be up-to-date and familiar with the requirements for where you live.

On July 1st of 2014, the newest version of CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation) went into effect. First of all, no panicking is required. The Canadian Government’s website has a great set of myths, facts, and FAQs to help you better understand how this affects you.

And while it is good to understand the contents of this law, it’s also not necessary to read the full text of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation - unless you’re having trouble sleeping, of course.

What Do I Have to Do About CASL?

If you’ve already gone through our Email Marketing verification process, and you’re sending emails within our Terms of Service, you’re all set. We already prohibit sending of any spam, whatsoever, even more broadly defined than in the current CASL text. There’s probably no reason for you to have to do anything about your already healthy list.

However, check out our tips for staying CASL compliant, to be sure that you’re sending safely and legally.

5 Tips to Stay CASL Compliant

  1. 60 Day Opt Out

    Your Unsubscribe option must be functioning for a period of at least 60 days after your mailing is sent. This means you cannot delete your subscribers after sending, as deleting a contact record means we can’t process an unsubscribe for that [deleted] subscriber.

  2. Clear Opt In

    It must be very clear during signup that people are subscribing to receive your emails. Burying your opt-in language deep within your Terms and Conditions is not acceptable.

  3. No Pre-Checked Opt-In Boxes

    Except when filling out a form used exclusively for joining a mailing list, if a checkbox is used to opt-in subscribers, it must be unselected by default, requiring the subscriber to select the checkbox indicating they wish to receive updates/emails.

  4. Detailed Physical Contact Info

    The following information can be added via the Account section of your account, and must be present in either the footer or body of your mailings:
    • Your name
    • Physical mailing address
    • Phone number (you can add this at the end of your Physical address field)
    • Email address or web address

  5. Record Keeping!

    You must maintain opt-in records of your subscribers. If you’re gathering signups via a signup form, we can log those details for you. (Just activate the Signup IPs add-on, under your Add things menu.) If you’re gathering contacts through some other method, like in-person subscriptions at the point-of-sale, then you’ll want to retain those records in case you’re ever asked about the opt-in of a particular subscriber.

If you are at all unsure, or just want to be on the safe side, you can always send a Reconfirmation Email to your subscribers. This is an email that asks your subscribers to confirm that they would like to continue to receive your emails. This way, you will be able to collect recorded explicit opt-in from your subscribers. And those folks who don’t confirm? Just delete or suppress them. Then your list is golden!

Here you can find detailed instructions on sending a Reconfirmation Email to your subscribers, using the Email Marketing Link-to-List tool.