What You Need to Know About Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

Canada’s new spam law, better known as CASL, is set to take effect on July 1, 2014. Similar to CAN-SPAM here in the U.S., Canada’s upcoming legislation is a way for regulators to help consumers dodge unsolicited commercial electronic messages sent via email, text and other channels. Here’s a quick overview.

What is CASL?

CASL is a Canadian anti-spam law that protects Canadian email subscribers (those who have an email address using a .ca top level domain). The law is broken down into three parts that will require email marketers to have:

  • Consent – Senders need to get recipient approval to send marketing messages
  • Identification – Identify who you are and whom you’re sending on behalf of
  • Unsubscribe Link – Every message must have a valid unsubscribe option

Does CASL only apply to email?

No, CASL also affects commercial electronic messages that are sent to other forms of electronic addresses. An electronic address is defined by CASL as an email account, telephone account, instant message account and some social media accounts. For example, Facebook messaging or LinkedIn messaging would fall within CASL’s restrictions.

Who needs to worry about CASL?

Pretty much anyone who has no user consent or does not track or store this data. Likewise, those who purchase subscribers through other entities will be affected. Marketers who don’t clearly identify who they are or don’t use unsubscribe links should also take caution.

Steps you can take inside your AWeber account

At any time, you can log in to your AWeber account to check opt-in confirmation for subscribers who have a .ca email address. From your account homepage:

  • Select “Subscribers” from the top menu
  • Choose “Manage Subscribers”
  • From the “Select field” drop down menu, choose “email” “ends with” and type .ca
  • View the Subscriber Information for each user to obtain opt-in date, opt-in ID and the IP address that was used to confirm opt-in

Best practices

Although it is not required by CASL or CAN-SPAM, industry best practice says marketers should re-engage their email subscribers every six months to confirm they want to continue receiving content. What better way to ensure you’re giving subscribers what they want than by asking? Check out How Can I Re-Engage Inactive Subscribers?

More information

The AWeber Service Agreement may differ from what’s required by CASL so be sure to visit Canada’s anti-spam legislation website for additional guidelines and steps you should take to ensure you’re CASL compliant.

This post was updated on 6/20/14 to further clarify CASL and how it will affect commercial electronic message sending.