New Canadian Anti-Spam law taking effect July 1st

Canada has passed a new, strict anti-spam law named the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) which takes effect July 1, 2014. What does this mean for you? Even if you’re not a Canadian company violation of the law may draw fines of up to $10 million as well as possible criminal sanctions. In addition, the company’s officers, directors, agents and mandataries can be found personally liable.

If you possibly have Canadian subscribers to your list you’ll need to pay attention. Not sure if you have any? Check out our list segmentation tool to find out.

The main point to confirm is that you have permission from your customers to send them email. There are two types of permission:

Express Consent – if your subscribers opted-in to your list via a ReachMail sign-up form or a sign-up form on your website, you’re covered. This type of consent does not expire.

Implied consent – this is a grey area and we urge you to be cautious. Implied consent is often derived from an existing customer relationship, e.g. someone purchased a product from you but did not expressly opt-in to receive emails. In this case you can infer they gave consent when they completed their purchase. This consent DOES expire – experts agree that in the context of CASL this consent would expire after one year. So someone who bought a product one time from you in 2011 is someone who you should no longer send to.

What should you do? If you have any doubts about whether you have the appropriate permission we recommend that you run the list segmentation tool to isolate the subscribers you’re not sure about. Then create a specific campaign for those subscribers and ask them to opt-in to your email list via a confirmation link included in the message. In future – only send to those who’ve expressly signed up.

There are two other requirements and we have you covered. ReachMail includes these as part of our service so no action is required on your part.

1. Identification Information – Identify yourself and anyone you represent in the message by providing contact information which includes your business name, postal address and either a telephone number or e-mail address. This information must be accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent.

2. Unsubscribe Mechanism – A quick, easy and visible way for the user to opt-out of an organization’s electronic messaging.

Any questions? Contact us at