Changes to Canada’s Email Marketing Laws

Canada has a new email marketing law, CASL (Bill C-28) that will go into effect by mid 2012. Do you know how these upcoming changes will impact your email marketing campaigns to Canada? We invite you to read this brief article so that you are aware of the new challenges for marketers and commercial enterprises with this anti SPAM law.

The purpose of Bill C-28 is to increase Canadian consumer’s confidence in electronic commerce by protecting Canadian consumers and businesses from unwanted and unsolicited electronic messages, spam and related threats. Bill C-28 covers: Emails, Instant Messaging (IM), SMS, Social Networks, and mobile marketing. It applies to all digital messages sent to Canadian consumers, regardless of where the e-mail sender is located. If you are using any of these electronic communication systems to market to your Canadian customers, make sure that your company understands Bill C-28.

Marketers must have the consent of their recipients before sending them any unsolicited electronic messages. This means that companies should avoid sending out emails to a purchased list of potential clients because there are heavy fines and penalties per violation. Also, they should have an opt-in and opt-out process when they communicate electronically with Canadian consumers. However, among the exceptions to the CASL opt-in requirement are prior business and family contacts.

For more information about CASL (Bill C-28), please go to the following links:

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  • Kayce Mick

    I’m glad to hear this because I get sooo much spam. My inbox quota is already full and Gmail is pretty much making me pay money to keep my email. All thanks to spammers.

  • Alex Nmenski

    I am starting to create an email campaign using AWebber. Do you know if that will be affected?

  • Alex Nmenski

    I give an A+ for this solution! So sick and tired of receiving spammed email. But I understand the need to do this. As a small business owner, I want to start my own email campaign.

  • DMoore

    For marketers within multinational companies with interests in Canada, this article is a must read. Appreciate the information and links.

  • Chris McNamara

    Great brief. This represents another reason why digital marketers must be constantly segmenting and scrubbing their subscriber lists. One email blast to an unorganized list can now land you with a stiff penalty (rather than just a hit to your sender reputation).

  • Jmorgan22

    Does this apply to b2b ??? Example I own a cpr company and want to send out a special offer to a few daycares in the area. The emails would be fully transparent, as they would need to be considering I am providing CPR services. I would also be sending the email directly to the business. No personal email addresses.

  • Alfred

    I’m still a bit confused. If I am required to give fill in my e-mail when checking out, did I legally opt-in to a company’s e-mails or do they have to ask me in another section whether or not I want to join their e-mail list?

  • RoachBlogger

    I think this is a pretty good idea actually. It helps people keep the inbox clean and not receive a lot of emails that does not interest them. I actually wish that other countries also jumped at this and tried to enforce it. I hate getting emails for something I did not want so it seems like a pretty good idea.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah! You are right the stakes are getting higher for digital marketers. They have got to keep up with these constant changes. Thanks Chris for leaving a comment on our blog. We are going to follow you on Twitter.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Nathan Forrester

    Thanks for your comment.

  • OrangeCRM

    Hi Alex,

    We recommend that you contact Aweber directly about how they address Bill C-28 for Canada emails. We checked their web site and noticed that they do have a very helpful Knowledge base that covers several questions under Antispam. Thanks

  • OrangeCRM

    Great question! The answer however depends on the kind of emails you are sending b2b. Bill C-28 has several exceptions to it in Paragraph 6 section (1)a. Please take a look at that the Bill and reference paragraph 6.

  • OrangeCRM

    Hi Alfred,

    We wrote a follow-up post about this called: “Five ways to comply with Bill C-28″. Check it out below in our blog. There some helpful links there that provide further detailed explanations.

    Basically the point is that “Marketers must have the consent of their recipients before sending them any unsolicited electronic messages.” So anything that you are signing up for should make it very clear you opt-in for an email list.

    Thanks for your question.

  • OrangeCRM


  • Stan

    Thank you!!! I am so sick of getting spam all day long. Hopefully this helps cut that down considerably. I’m sure it’s not going to completely get rid of it but any little bit helps at this point.

  • Jupiter Ramirez

    This is going to make it so much easier on people. This new email marketing is going to rid the email boxes of spam hopefully and I think it will help companies to since they will be soliciting to only those individuals that actually want to know more about the company or their products so kudos to Canada for taking this step.

  • Sam Quest

    I just read your follow up to this post and for those of you who still have questions about it, you should head over there and read it. It goes more into detail on how you can get of those emails and what all you have to do if you are one of those people who are sending those emails. It’s a great read and compliments this article very well.

  • Jake

    It’s about time we started getting laws against spam. It’s become pretty ridiculous even with a spam filter it’s very annoying. Hopefully this actually works like it’s supposed to but I’m sure the spammers will find some kind of loophole.

  • Charles

    This is going to make email marketing so much more effective and tasteful. I am glad to see this.

  • Jim

    I am also very happy to see this happening as it will help take care of the spam problem.

  • Rachel

    Believe me, I am happy to see something is being done about it.

  • Rob

    This is all great news, thanks for sharing this.