Email spam lawThis July, Canada will implement new anti-spam legislation. Often referred to as the strictest and most aggressive anti-spam laws in the world, the changes should be on every email marketer’s radar.

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will take full effect this summer, and will make unrestricted implied consent a thing of the past. Therefore, sending marketing emails to recipients with whom the sender has an existing business relationship will be strictly off limits.

The consequences of falling foul of the new regulations are a sign of Canada’s intentions; fines of up to $10 million per violation and possible criminal charges will be handed out to those abusing the new law.

It doesn’t matter where you are – if you’re emailing people in Canada, it is absolutely crucial you have their express permission to do so. Paying particular attention to to ‘from’ names on mailings will also be important (and is something ISPs have long been preaching). If an email says it is from ‘hot offers’ or ‘great deals’, instead of identifying itself as the real sender, it will likely fall foul of the new CASL law.

It is believed the main driver behind the anti-spam laws in Canada are for privacy protection, but there is an element of CASL which is in response to the seismic growth of mobile email. With over half of all opens now occurring on tablets and smartphones, and with so many of these devices in existence, the number of email addresses is rapidly increasing, as are the number of emails being sent. More email means more spam – simple.

Any email accessed on a Canadian computer is subject to the law, therefore it is essential email marketers pay strict attention to the contents of their subscriber lists. Looking for .ca addresses will be an obvious first step, but CASL is a timely reminder of the importance of list hygiene and for re-affirming opt-ins. Perhaps now is the perfect time to ask your subscribers if they still want to be a part of your mailings…


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /