Why Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Could Bite, Hard

Dating back to December, 2010, Canadian officials began breaking ground on what would arguably be the toughest piece of legislature to hit the world wide web. If you’re not careful, you could face some pretty hefty fines for over-stepping your marketing bounds. In this article, I’ll show you why it’s more important to create an email opt-in list than ever.

It took just under three years for legislators to come to an agreement about these new anti-spam laws, and present their decisions to parliament. The date that their piece of legislature became an effective law was July 1st, 2014. After this day, any unwarranted, re-occurring spam sent could cost the individual sender up to one million dollars in fines and up to ten million for a business!

Sounds hard to believe right? Believe it. Canada doesn’t mess around with their internet privacy. Their goal is to create an experience that’s more tailored to their consumer interests, and restrict those businesses which send multiple emails to clients every day. 

If this affects you, don’t get too discouraged. It’s not all bad. Remember the opt-in list I mentioned before? It’s gold. Any email addresses entered into your personal or business’ opt-in list will be foregone if a potential screening process commences. This could save you a grip in unwanted lawyer fees and fines. More so called loop-holes in the legislature include:

Conspicuous Publication.

This means the information used for sending promotional mail is published in clear site, for example, on a website or in a trade magazine.

Full Tangible Disclosure.

The consumer in question has personally provided you with their business or contact card. (Be sure to hold onto it!)

Existing Business Relationship.

You already have a working relationship with the customer in the first place. Whether it be through previous business transactions or inquires of intent.

Big businesses are faced with a 36-month grace period to obtain the aforementioned implied consent from their customers or they will be removed from the “can do” to “avoid” list. Any email subscriber that opts out of their subscriptions must be immediately removed from the auto-emailing system. This makes reporting and analytics in the email marketing space more important than ever.