Canada has had an anti-spam bill in effect for a few years now. This bill is the bane for many businesses, but it pleased many internet users. Here’s an infographic that will help you demystify this new bill in order to apply it properly if you need to launch an email campaign in Canada.

For starters, the objective of this bill is to better regulate marketing communications. It is intended to provide consumers relief from pervasive business marketing efforts.

You must consider that, despite the negative impacts it can have on businesses, this bill also helps to ensure that your leads will be more qualified and that your message is received by consumers who have voluntarily agreed to receive it.

What is Anti-Spam Bill C-28?

3From a legal standpoint, bill C-28 governs all types of commercial electronic messages sent to electronic addresses. This includes emails as well as the social networks and instant messaging.

By “commercial activity” what the bill means is: “any electronic message that is communicated to promote a product, person, service or a business opportunity, whether or not it is done so in the expectation of profit.”

In other words, it is strictly prohibited to send a commercial email, unless there is express or implied consent.

Kinds of Consent

What is express vs. implied consent? Here’s more information on the subject.

Express Consent

Express consent occurs when the internet user voluntarily gives their consent, and agrees to receive communication from you.

There are 3 valid ways to obtain consent:

  • Verbally: A telephone conversation in which the consumer gives consent to the business is recorded
  • Electronically: This is an email with an electronic approval link (example: click here to agree)
  • In writing: This is the traditional form of consent, written and signed on paper.

It is important to remember that regardless of the consent mechanism you provide, you must keep a record of it as proof.

The Double Opt-In

The double opt-in is the best way to prove express consent. The internet user will receive a confirmation email and is required to click on it to confirm their registration.

Implied Consentkeep-calm-and-get-consent-6

Implied consent requires the ability to show a business relationship with the internet user exists, without which they would have to provide express consent to receive your emails.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the various forms of valid implicit consent:

  • A contract established during the last 24 months
  • A proof of purchase from within the last 24 months
  • A request for information from within the last 6 months
  • A request for a quote from within the last 6 months
  • Business cards

In the best case, it would be ideal to convert your implied consents into express consents, and keep proof. This will give you more freedom when sending marketing emails.

Other Important Information About Anti-Spam Bill C-28

Under the Canadian anti-spam bill C-28 businesses are now required to include these elements in all of their emails:

  • You must be easily identifiable
  • You must include your contact information
  • Most of all, you must provide a quick, easy way to unsubscribe

To help you remember all the provisions of the C-28 anti-spam bill, Cyberimpact has created this infographic.

infographic c-28 bill

If you have any questions, feel free to write them below. I will answer them as soon as possible. Until next time!