Email marketing – the law

Email marketing can be very effective, but you must have permission to send.

E-mail marketing is still a viable tool for textile screen printers in spite of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) introduced in 2014. The major hurdle imposed by the legislation is the requirement that recipients of commercial electronic messages (CEM) must give express consent to receive such messages.

The obvious answer to the express consent requirement is to request your customers and potential customers for permission to send them CEMs. If you think about it, in addition to complying with the law, it’s a good targeting measure – why would you waste time and kid yourself by sending promotional material to anyone who doesn’t want it? Wouldn’t you rather know that the recipients have expressed an interest in receiving it by giving you express permission to send it?

The legislation came into effect on July 1, 2014 and you had a 36-month grace period until 30 June, 2017 during which you could continue to use email lists of customers from whom you had prior express or implied consent (for instance, you had previously provided your products or services to them and they hadn’t told you to stop sending CEMs). But by 1 July 2017 (yes, it’s almost here), you must have express permission from recipients of CEMs.

And if you don’t think the government is serious about enforcing CASL, you should know that Kellogg Canada Inc. agreed to pay a fine of $60,000 for a violation.

In the next post we’ll deal with email marketing and technique.