The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation - Are You Prepared?

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation - Are You Prepared?

There has been talk for years about the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and when and if it will come to fruition. Well, it looks like it finally has.

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will take effect on July 1, 2014. This legislation applies to all email sent from or to Canada. Businesses have a three year grace period (July 1, 2017) to verify and confirm consent to send email to Canadian recipients but can still only communicate with recipients with whom they have an existing business relationship. Any opt-in information you have before CASL comes into force will be recognized as compliant with CASL. You can review the full details of the legislation here.

Given the looming deadline, it is essential for senders to assess their readiness and develop a compliance strategy for this new legislation. Here are some provisions that should be thoroughly investigated:

  • Permission – CASL has an explicit permission provision. This means that implied consent is NOT acceptable for gathering permission. There are multiple exceptions to the rule, including existing business relationships. Purchases qualify for this exception and the 24-month clock resets with every purchase.

  • Implied consent – There are multiple ways where a sender can obtain consent outside the required express consent. Personal or family relationships, inquiries, and several others.

  • The law applies to email that is accessed on computers in Canada.

  • Very different from CAN-SPAM, this is not an opt-out, but an opt-in law. Allowing people the opportunity to opt-out does NOT satisfy the requirements. A pre-checked box is an implied consent method that WILL NOT be allowed. Auto opting-in abandoned shopping carts and e-receipts for promotional mail will also be outlawed.

  • Private right of action – One of the most talked about pieces of this legislation which allows individuals to bring suit, will not take effect until July 1, 2017.

  • 3 year transition period – Senders have a 3 year grace period to gain consent of individuals. Implied consent is sufficient during this period, but express consent must be gained to go forward after that period.

  • You should update your privacy policy, make sure you are recording consent for proof, and always have a working unsubscribe mechanism.


Ask your ESP to help you identify all Canadian subscribers so you can come up with a plan to re-permission them if needed.

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Start the New Year CAN-SPAM Compliant

Everyone understands the importance of internet marketing, specifically the effectiveness of a targeted e-mail strategy. However, e-mail marketing compliance is often the last things a small business owner considers when creating his or her marketing plan. The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act was passed in 2003 and has major implications for e-mail marketers and consequences for violators. In fact, violators can be charged up to $16,000 for each separate e-mail that violates the CAN-SPAM Act. Consider the main features of this legislation:

What E-Mails Must Comply with CAN-SPAM?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), any e-mail whose "primary purpose" is commercial must comply with the act. Any e-mail that advertises your business or promotes your products and services is subject to CAN-SPAM guidelines.
E-mails considered "transactional" or “relationship content" do not have to comply with all the CAN-SPAM requirements. For example, if you send payment receipts, shipping information or simply respond to customer inquiries, you do not have to abide by all the guidelines. Some do still apply though. Marketers are prohibited from using inaccurate information in the "to" and "from" fields. The e-mail address and domain must definitively indicate who the message is coming from.

What Are the Rules?
If your e-mails are subject to the CAN-SPAM Act, consider the following guidelines.
• Headers, domains and subject lines must be clear and not deceptive.
• You must state that the message is an advertisement.
• Your message must include your postal address in the body of the e-mail.
• You must provide an option to unsubscribe from the e-mail list, and follow-up on those requests within 10 business days. Whatever unsubscribe tool you use should be able to continue processing the requests for 30 days after the original e-mail was sent.

Lastly, keep in mind that the FTC doesn't differentiate between you and a third party that may be sending your e-mails on your behalf. Ask your provider how they handle the "opt-out" feature and any other compliance issues.

Contact us to develop an e-mail marketing strategy that is in compliance with the law.
 

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UK Laws Will Bring Certain Marketing Automation Practices To A Halt

New laws in the UK governing the use of website cookies go into effect May 26th.  These new laws will cause issues for companies practicing marketing automation linking website behavior to an email address.  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK has issued a 9 page document of guidelines about how companies should comply with these new laws.  Similar laws are coming to the U.S. and companies engaged in certain marketing automation practices will need to seriously rethink their tactics.  Permission-based marketing is real and is here to stay.

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Do Not Track Legislation Will Thwart Certain Marketing Automation Efforts

Do Not Track LegislationIf you're using markting automation that combines web analytics with email marketing get ready to change your game plan.  Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), head of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced a new privacy bill Monday that instructs the Federal Trade Commission to craft rules establishing standards for a universal do-not-track mechanism.  If passed, this new legislation could cause logistical headaches for marketers, especially B2B ones, who use web analytics to track and "score" leads (subscriber activity).  If you're thinking about PAYING EXTRA for these types of marketing automation systems, my advice is to hold off a bit to see where this proposed legislation ends up. 

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More SPAM Legislation Might Be Around the Corner

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 15 to 25 new “Do Not Mail” bills will be introduced on the state level that will attempt to replicate the Federal Do Not Call legislation.  Although the federal government does have a legitimate business interest (US Postal Service) in not proposing federal legislation, Congress might be forced into taking action if a patchwork of state laws pass.

What does this mean for email marketers? 

Legislation in one marketing medium usually finds its way to other ones as technology makes compliance easier and enforcement is less of an issue.  It is doubtful that 2008 will see any significant legislation specifically related to email marketing. The “Do Not Mail” bills, however, could be a pre-curser to amending CAN SPAM from opt-out to opt-in. This means that all recipients will need to officially opt-in to receiving your email. Right now, the law requires marketers to have an opt-out option, and while opt-in is preferred, it’s not required. 

Stay ahead of this potential hiccup by strengthening your opt-in methods now. Check out eLoop’s features such as landing pages, surveys, and others to see how you can increase your opt-in savvy.

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!