Complying with CASL
Please note that the following information is to be used as a resource only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) that are not covered here, please contact a lawyer in your area who is familiar with this legislation.
For a webinar on the subject, please refer to CASL - Are You Ready?
CASL is the most stringent legislation of its kind, and impacts both Canadian and U.S. businesses that market to Canadian consumers.
Key points of this legislation:
- The purpose of CASL is to protect online consumers from spam, electronic threats, and misuse of digital technology.
- To comply with CASL, businesses must ensure that they obtain a consumer's implied or express consent prior to sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs).
- The legislation defines a CEM as a message that encourages participation in a commercial activity, including, but not limited to: offering, advertising or promoting a product, a service, or a person. This includes email, texting, and contact via social media.
- Messages must clearly identify the sender and provide contact information.
- Recipients must have a functional way to unsubscribe from receiving future commercial messages.
- CASL applies to any business that markets to Canadian consumers, regardless of the country they are marketing from.
- Senders must keep proof of consent, even if the consent was obtained prior to CASL coming into effect.
- Express consent cannot be obtained via a commercial electronic message after CASL comes into force, unless there is already implied consent as defined in CASL.
Implied Consent vs Express Consent:
- Implied consent under CASL has various scenarios, and covers existing business or non-business relationships between the sender and recipient. Implied consent is time-limited and must have an expiry date. This is typically two years after the event that starts the relationship, e.g. someone becomes a purchaser.
- Express consent is given when the recipient has provided a positive or explicit indication that they wish to receive commercial electronic messages from the sender, and the sender’s request for consent clearly contained the necessary information, including their contact information and a functional method of unsubscribing. Unlike implied consent, express consent is not time-limited and ends only when the recipient withdraws their consent.
Information that needs to be included in a CEM:
- Identification – Identify your full name or the name of the business or anyone else on whose behalf you are sending the message.
- Contact information – Include a mailing address and either a phone number, email address, or web address. This information must be accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after sending the message.
- Clear links - If you are using a link to provide the required information, the link must be clearly and prominently displayed in the message, and must be working for at least 60 days following the message.
How to make sure you are compliant in Lasso
For new registrants:
1 - Update your registration page(s) (for online registrants) and registration cards (for walk-in registrants) with a question asking the registrant to confirm that they would like to receive your email communications, i.e. provide express consent. This box cannot be pre-checked. The registrant must be given the option of manually checking the box. This question must also be added to Lasso in the Client Admin Center.
2 - Recommended: Replace your auto-reply email with an opt-in email to allow your registrants to immediately express their interest in receiving future messages from you.
3 - Recommended: Update your ‘thank you’ redirect page, telling registrants that they will be receiving an auto-reply email and asking them to check their inbox and take action to confirm their interest in receiving emails from you.
Note: If you choose not to do steps 2 and 3 above, add History called 'Express consent received' or add the express consent details to Notes in the registrant profile. (Custom history items must be added in the Client Admin Center in order to make them selectable in the Sales Center.)
4 - Ensure that all your communication, both mass mail and personal email, contains the following:
- Your full name
- Mailing address
- Either a phone number, email address, or web address so that the recipient can readily contact you
Note: The contact information must be accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after sending the email. If it is provided in a link, the link must be working for at least 60 days, and must process without delay.
5 - Customize your opt-out link to include the above criteria and ensure that it is sent with all communication.
6 - If you are using registration cards for walk-in registrants, let them know they will receive an email asking to confirm their interest and send them an opt-in email from their registrant profile .
7 - If someone verbally asks to be sent information, record this in the Notes section of their registrant profile. This provides a record of express consent.
For existing registrants (you must ensure that the registrants you are emailing have opted in):
1 - Create an opt-in email to give your existing registrants the opportunity to express their interest in continuing to receive messages from you. In the email, refer to the anti-spam legislation and your desire to be compliant.
3 - Under Contact Information on the Custom Lists page, find the Opted Status.
4 - Select Non-Opted and click Go. This will generate a list of all registrants who have not opted in.
5 - Send these registrants the opt-in email you created specifically for them.
Note: For those registrants who do not respond to the opt-in email, it is important that you do not continue to email them. If their status is non-opted, you cannot legally send them mass mails or personal emails until they have confirmed their interest.
6 - Contact unresponsive registrants to request confirmation and change the rating status of registrants who are not interested.