Canadian CASL spam law questions

14 replies
I'm going to be updating all my email lists and systems to be sure I'm complying with the new CASL law in Canada but I have a few questions.

I know they say the checkbox to subscribe to a mailing list must be unchecked by default, but can you offer an incentive like a discount or free trial for agreeing to sign up to the mailing list? For example can I send an email (before July 1st) saying something like "Agree to stay subscribed to our mailing list and get 40% off your next order"?

I also have a website where people sign up for free and then they can decide if they want to pay for the service, am I allowed to email users that only signed up for the free trial for 2 years like the law allows for a business transaction? If not what am I allowed to do in terms of emailing those that sign up for the free trial and haven't yet paid?

Also, what do they require as proof of express consent? If my double opt in system marks a database field named "Confirmed" as "True", when the customers clicks the link to confirm the subscription in the confirmation email, is that considered proof?

Thank you
#canadian #casl #law #questions #spam
  • Profile picture of the author Shadoware
    If someone signs up for your free trial but opts out of the marketing emails, you can't email them offering any incentives or other things. If they have agreed to pay but haven't yet paid, you can only email them with a payment reminder.

    Anyone that is on your current mailing list, and has signed up within the last two years has given "implied consent" so they are okay to email for now, however they must give "active consent" by July 2017.

    Any new customers can be incentivised to click the checkbox in any way, but it must be their decision to click it, and they must be able to proceed without clicking it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300029].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author aabonline
    Thanks for the reply.

    Currently users get signed up to the mailing list when they create an account (there is no check box to create an account but not get emails), will this still be allowed under the implied consent that allows emailing them for 2 years? They can always unsubscribe at any time. Will I need to add a check box on my sign up form so they can create an account but not get emails? What if I need to contact them about a problem that affects their account?

    Thank you
    Signature
    Auction Auto Bidder - Automatically places your eBay bids just seconds before auctions end, increasing your chances of winning while decreasing the winning bid amount.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300036].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Shadoware
      Yes you can email them for two years *from the date they signed up* so you'll only be able to email someone who signed up in November 2012 until November 2014 (as an example... so it gets a bit awkward here as people will drop every month unless you get their actual consent)

      You will need to add a checkbox to your sign-up form, unchecked until the user checks it. You can email them about account issues, but cannot try to sell them anything in that correspondence if they haven't signed up to receive marketing emails.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300054].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author aabonline
        Originally Posted by Shadoware View Post

        Yes you can email them for two years *from the date they signed up* so you'll only be able to email someone who signed up in November 2012 until November 2014 (as an example... so it gets a bit awkward here as people will drop every month unless you get their actual consent)

        You will need to add a checkbox to your sign-up form, unchecked until the user checks it. You can email them about account issues, but cannot try to sell them anything in that correspondence if they haven't signed up to receive marketing emails.
        Does that mean if they sign up without checking the box I can email them for 2 years or not at all?

        By the way I programmed my email list system entirely myself which is why I need to be sure I'm doing everything correctly.

        Thanks
        Signature
        Auction Auto Bidder - Automatically places your eBay bids just seconds before auctions end, increasing your chances of winning while decreasing the winning bid amount.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300072].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    From what I gather the majority of major autoresponder services (Aweber, GetResponse) are already in compliance with this law.

    I'm not a lawyer, though I think they're really cool on TV.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300055].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Shadoware
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      From what I gather the majority of major autoresponder services (Aweber, GetResponse) are already in compliance with this law.

      I'm not a lawyer, though I think they're really cool on TV.

      It depends, if you have an aweber form baked into your subscribe/sign up page then they'll deal with all this and know the law as they are the ones who will be responsible if it goes wrong. If you're uploading CSV's or email addresses to aweber or other auto-responders after-the-signup it will be you who's responsible.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300063].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Anne Laidlaw
    If they don't check the box you can only email them about account issues and nothing else no sales etc.
    Signature
    Giant Plugin Biz High Quality WP Plugin Package
    WP Plugins Are Hott!! Claim Your Piece Of The Pie Today!
    Free Squeeze Page Creator - FREE Instant Access To Alou's Killer Squeeze Page Creator.
    Alou.com - Wordpress SEO - Latest free WordPress SEO, Plugins, Themes and more!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9300166].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author aabonline
    What does the law require as proof that the user subscribed? Is simply marking a field called "Confirmed" as "True" in the database once they click the link to confirm in a confirmation email proof? If not what do they require as proof?

    Thanks
    Signature
    Auction Auto Bidder - Automatically places your eBay bids just seconds before auctions end, increasing your chances of winning while decreasing the winning bid amount.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9303021].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author aabonline
    Anyone have info on what they consider proof that the user subscribed?

    Thanks
    Signature
    Auction Auto Bidder - Automatically places your eBay bids just seconds before auctions end, increasing your chances of winning while decreasing the winning bid amount.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9305376].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Shadoware
      The proof would essentially be a checkbox on your sign up form. You'll then have a corresponding database table with 1 or 0. If you get audited/investigated at any time you would have to show how that gets set (basically from them checking or leaving unchecked the box) and show that your email/marketing script uses it.

      You probably won't get audited or investigated without multiple users complaining that they left the box unchecked yet they're getting marketing anyway. So basically do it right, and you won't need to prove anything.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9305434].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Anderson2014
      From what I've read on the official FAQ government site

      Found Here

      It looks no different than the US CAN-Spam laws.

      Double opt-in will work as proof. I would collect IP, Date of sign up, Date of Confirmation & Email address/name.

      Make sure you have one click unsubscribe for both email and SMS.

      Include YOUR mailing address in any mailings.

      The answers always refer to implied consent being written or oral.

      But the proof is up to you.

      I would include that check box with a link to a terms of use / privacy policy / email policy.

      Also make it very clear on the sign up form that you intend to send commercial electronic mailings that are within the scope of the list or service that subscribers are signing up for.

      Sounds like a bit of work but a one time set up for each form that will cover your butt!

      As it states several times on the government site responsibility of proof of consent falls on you the list owner and "Compliance will be examined on a case-by-case basis in light of the specific circumstances of a given situation."

      May be a bit vague but what do you expect from government. Lawyers have to make their money "interpreting" law.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9305485].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author aabonline
        I have another question about something I'm not sure of. The law says I can email people for 2 years after a business transaction without having express consent, but is that for business transactions before and/or after July 1st?

        For example, let's say I get a sale on July 3rd next week, can I email that buyer without having express consent until July 3rd 2016?

        Thank you
        Signature
        Auction Auto Bidder - Automatically places your eBay bids just seconds before auctions end, increasing your chances of winning while decreasing the winning bid amount.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9311831].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author aabonline
    Another question: I send alert emails when a user's account balance is running low, can I still send these emails to users that do not check the box to agree to receiving emails?

    Thank you
    Signature
    Auction Auto Bidder - Automatically places your eBay bids just seconds before auctions end, increasing your chances of winning while decreasing the winning bid amount.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9312886].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Yourname
    I know this is a super old thread, and I'm sorry for resurrecting it - this is the only thread of this topic with action on it.

    I have a "Contact Us" form on a website where people gave me their name, and number to call them. I've had this over the past 2 years.

    1) Can I send them a "newsletter"?
    or
    2) Do I need to send them a "Resubscribe if you want cuz CASL says I should ask" email to get them to explicitly sign up?

    Thanks!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10561325].message }}

Trending Topics