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The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Primer

Thomas Senne
Senior Director of Global Deliverability

We’re just about a month about from finally seeing the new and improved Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, or CASL for short, take effect. We’ve discussed this seemingly forever, and watched as the proposed regulations changed again and again. Well, the changes are complete and the countdown has begun. If you're in email marketing and you haven’t yet prepared, time is running short. It’s time to evaluate the potential impact, and changes you need to make to stay compliant, and I would argue, the continued industry trending in this direction.

Today, I would like to share the high-level bullet points that you should be educated about before the July 1, 2014 go-live date for CASL. It is important to remember that this is a starting point, with a slant towards the marketing side of things. This should not be construed as legal advice and you should always consult your own counsel for risk assessment etc…

Key Points:

There are 2 types of opt-ins (and this is an opt-in law) – Explicit opt-in that is required for anyone coming to sign-up, and a provision for implicit opt-in that is tied to a specific verifiable business relationship.

You must refresh permission on the implicit opt-ins every 24 months be either the customer making another purchase, or having them explicitly opt-in to future communications.

You must have a valid unsubscribe on ALL communications including transactional messaging.

NO pre-checked boxes, these are against the law in Canada going forward.

People in your database before July 1, 2014 are grandfathered until July 1, 2017. You don’t have to refresh permission on those people before then.

Anyone added to your list after July 1, 2014 must comply with the new regulation.

Regulations around sharing messages such as forward-to-a-friend are much tougher. This should even further discourage this type of mailing.

You of course must include a valid unsubscribe link.

You should review the law and make sure you are compliant asap. We are happy to help with any questions we can answer.

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