What CASL means for business

image of hand holding @ signFor many small businesses, email marketing is a very important tool in the marketing mix. It is an effective and cost-effective way to generate ROI and also create an improved brand image among your customer base.  If you use email marketing, you’ve probably heard about Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – known as CASL.

Unlike CANSPAM in the U.S., which allows organizations to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) without permission until a recipient “opts-out,” CASL requires you to get permission before sending CEMs to your recipients.

Generally speaking, you will need to obtain consent from the recipient before sending the message and will need to include information that identifies your organization and enables the recipient to withdraw consent.


CASL will be in full force on July 1, 2014 and comes with some stiff penalties for non-compliance; specifically commercial electronic messages sent without consent; and/or commercial electronic messages with false or misleading content.

Deloitte offers some good advice and we couldn’t agree more. The key to compliance is updating your electronic databases to manage consents and unsubscribe requests.  This can be a complex task, but it also promises to yield rewards that extend far beyond compliance. As you update your digital marketing practices, you can establish more  meaningful communications with your customers and prospects.


Here are some links we’ve compiled that will make understanding the legislation a little easier as it pertains to your business:

The Government of Canada Anti-Spam website including the opportunity to sign up for email updates on CASL

The CRTC, who will be enforcing the new requirements, has issued the following guidance documents:

Guidelines on the interpretation of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC)
Guidelines on the use of toggling as a means of obtaining express consent under Canada’s anti-spam legislation

Deloitte whitepaper on Managing the Message

Deanna White has always been passionate about marketing and public relations. Owner of storylinePR, Deanna is best known for taking it beyond the pitch. For building brands & bottom lines with the right channels to share your story. www.storylinepr.ca.

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3 thoughts on “What CASL means for business

    • There is no denying it will be a challenge to get up to speed, however, it’s an opportunity for marketers to fine-tune mailing lists focused on customers and prospects who have a genuine interest. (i.e who have inquired or have purchased in the past two years). The result? SME’s will definitely have a smaller list to work with, but believe it will also be a much leaner, more focused list of engaged customers and prospects for products and services offered.

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