CASL Two Years Later

Looking Back at CASL’s Effect on Email Marketing

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In July 2014, the Canadian Government implemented Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL); one of the world’s most comprehensive anti-spam laws, put into effect to protect Canadians while ensuring businesses could continue to compete in the global marketplace. More specifically, it aimed at addressing poorly-targeted and excessive email marketing campaigns that annoyed consumers, cluttered inboxes everywhere, and undermined the entire email marketing industry.

Not surprisingly, CASL initially sent a chill through Canadian marketing departments, considering email was at the time a primary mode of communication for most Canadian businesses. Since then, fears have largely calmed as companies learned how to collect and use data compliant with the new legislation.

While CASL is not in place to stop legitimate businesses from reaching out, it is problematic for those who haven’t worked towards compliance. Since its implementation, at least four prominent companies were fined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CTRC) for non-compliance:

  • Compu-Finder: $1,100,000
  • Rogers Media Inc.: $200,000
  • Porter Airlines Inc.: $150,000
  • PlentyofFish Media Inc. (PoF): $48,000

Cloudmark Inc., a network security company, assessed email traffic in the year following the implementation of CASL. Their study found Canadians received 29% less email overall, and noted a 37% reduction in spam originating from Canada. They went on to say that “the Canadian law is proving effective in reducing inbox clutter, and could act as a model for stronger anti-spam laws in the U.S., UK, and other countries”.

Positive Trends for Marketers and Consumers

In many ways, CASL changed the way in which Canadian companies conduct day-to-day marketing. Significant improvements to marketing automation software has resulted in email marketing becoming a stronger marketing strategy. Recent studies show that 59% of marketers have continued plans to increase their email marketing budgets. Additionally, 73% of marketers reported email marketing as a core to their business.

Two years of CASL has also proven beneficial to consumers. According to Constant Contact Inc., Canadian consumers rated email as their number one method of staying in touch with businesses. An impressive 68% preferred email over other channels.

With all the hard work that goes into preparing CASL compliant email lists, marketing campaigns, and business communications, it’s encouraging to see email marketing thriving due to both consumer preference, as well as improvements brought about by the new legislation. Here’s to another two years!

For more information on CASL and tips for compliance, please visit the Government of Canada’s official CASL website.

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