The C-28 anti-spam law: a difficult pill to swallow, at first

Only a few days remain before Bill C-28 comes into action, which foresees punitive action against spam, which still too often lands in your inbox. This law is particularly frightening when you look at the chapter of sanctions; in private recourse, the sanctions can climb from 200 $ to 1 000 000$! Despite everything, I am convinced that companies will only gain when conforming to this new law. And you, are you ready to conform to this anti-spam law?

Perhaps you manage the requests for inscription confirmations to newsletters or blogs, which you receive on a regular basis. This email aims at requiring your explicit consent for the C-28 anti-spam law, as discussed in Claudine’s article on this subject. Here is an example I received lately. In the past, I accepted that the company adds me to its mailing list. This time, it asks me for my consent again. This is what is called a double opt-in and it constitutes the best means of protecting you as a company.

All implied consent must be converted into expressed consent by July 1st. Implied consent can be, for example, a private business relationship or a business card that you have in your possession.

Bill C-28 requires all companies to have proof of expressed consent from recipients before sending emails to prevent the risk of being sued. This consent may be expressed electronically (the above example and without a doubt, the most effective and easiest to obtain), printed proof or verbal acceptance (subject to record your conversations …).

Yes, a tough pill to swallow, but…

The disturbing consequences of an anti-spam law will be especially felt in the beginning; in the process, you might lose many subscribers because they  did not confirm their subscription. In addition, you cannot buy email lists and distribute mail without the consent of the recipients.

Despite these negatives (yes, you will probably lose more subscribers to your mailing lists), it will force companies to turn to good practice.

Indeed, we quickly noticed that the purchase of email lists, as segmented and targeted they were, have a worse opening rate, a worse click rate, a worse conversion and thus a less interesting ROI as people who registered themselves.

Ultimately, although a severe law, everyone is going to win significantly by reducing the mountain of unwanted spam and affect the visibility of content that really interests your target audience.

Some advice :

For subscriptions to your newsletter, promotional emails, surveys, etc., ask again for the permission of your subscribers. To do this, create a form on your website on a dedicated registration page. Take the opportunity to update all of your client’s information (name, email, etc..). Also, add check boxes for each of your requests:

  • I agree to receive, on occasion, other types of information via email alerts informing me of the publication of the last newsletter of YOUR BUSINESS.
  • I want to subscribe by email to new blogs from YOUR BUSINESS.

And this new site that serves to be the point of reference for credible information and sanctioned by the Government of Canada on Bill C-28 can be found here:

… and if need be, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer.

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