Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Taking Effect in July (Tomorrow)


Already considered one of the most stringent anti-spam laws in the world, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will take effect soon…as in July soon. No longer will it be enough for marketers to have unrestricted implied consent from subscribers.  If you’re emailing to or from Canada—or sending any other commercial electronic messages (CEM)—you’ll need explicit permission to do so.

In addition, your CEM must include the following:

  1. Clearly identifiable sender information
  2. A physical address where the recipient can reach you
  3. A functional unsubscribe mechanism that works for 60 days:
  •  There can be no cost associated with unsubscribing
  • The recipient must be able to unsubscribe through the same means i.e. a recipient must be able to unsubscribe from an email program using email, and the same applies for SMS messaging and other forms of CEMs

*Note/the meta part: A message sent to recipients seeking consent to send CEMs is also considered a CEM and must meet the requirements above.

If you don’t abide by these rules, beware of the potential consequences: up to $10 million per violation. Violators could also face criminal charges. As Bob Sybydlo, Yesmail’s Director of Deliverability, recently told DMNews: “CASL is protecting Canadians from potential unwanted email,” he says. “Over the course of the last few years, spam has become more of a problem, as has unwanted mail, and when I say ‘unwanted mail,' I'm talking about email that seems to be unwanted because it's not much engaged with.”

To ensure you comply with CASL and message only people who are interested in your communications, find a creative way to have recipients confirm their “opted-in” status. Check out the examples below for some inspiration. In the first email, hospitality company SilverBirch uses exclusivity to appeal to subscribers. In the second email, Swiss Chalet, a Canadian restaurant chain, touts a free appetizer incentive as a way to reward people for their loyalty. In both cases, the brands are transparent about CASL in their messaging.

For a more detailed look at CASL, visit here.

Author Bio

Melissa Goss

Melissa helps companies make more strategic decisions around their marketing campaigns by providing content that spans blog and social media posts to white papers and case studies. Prior to Yesmail, she focused on search engine marketing and social advertising at online retailer ModCloth. Melissa graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Communication Studies, a minor in Business and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications.