January 15, 2013

Exemptions to Canada Anti-Spam Law Email Marketing Regulations

How can a marketer targeting US consumers stay compliant when purchasing email lists if there is no way to be sure an email placed inadvertently on that list doesn’t belong to a Canadian consumer?

Email addresses do not have any jurisdictional indicators, like a phone number has an area code, so it is almost impossible to silo contact information by geography in the way the Canadian Anti-Spam Law requires.

As a result, US direct marketers purchasing lead lists with the intent of marketing to US consumers can almost never be completely sure their lists are clean of Canadian-based email address, making it very easy for a company with no intention of doing business in Canada to unintentionally violate the Canadian Anti-Spam Law and risk millions of dollars in fines.

Adhering to the law’s opt-in framework and obtaining express or implied consent to contact individuals electronically ensures compliance with the Canadian Anti-Spam Law. Leveraging consent makes it easier for direct marketers to contact leads but marketers are tasked with properly documenting certain information regarding their relationship with a lead.
To leverage consent, you need to document that an individual has:
-Made an inquiry or filled out a form requesting information from your business in the last six months
-Completed a transaction with your business in the last two years
-Conspicuously and publically published the contact information without a “no solicitations” disclosure and functions professionally in a role relevant to your marketing message

Furthermore, if you’re collecting opt-ins and documenting them properly now, you can use those for up to three years after the law is fully enforced. If you need help implementing processes to collect and document opt-ins, Gryphon can help.