More than 3 years after coming into force, Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) remains unclear for more than 1 in 2 of email marketing users. More troubling, the majority of them have no idea of the consequences if they violate the law. This is what becomes obvious in a survey conducted by Cyberimpact, one of the few Canadian companies specializing in email marketing.
“CASL is still a mystery,” stated Jean-Francis Lalonde, president of Cyberimpact. “The government must do a better job of making the general public aware of it.”
Let’s remember that last September 29, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology of the House of Commons launched a legislative review of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), and asked Canadians to share their points of view about the law in order to improve it. Cyberimpact took the opportunity to survey thousands of email marketing users throughout the country.
The highlights of the survey were:
42% of email marketing users say they don’t understand the law.
49% are unaware of the consequences of the law.
75% say that the government isn’t efficient enough in handling complaints.
69% agree that the government hasn’t done a good job of raising awareness among SMEs.
“Knowing that the anti-spam legislation has been in place for more than three years, these results are surprising, even troubling,” commented Mr. Lalonde. “CASL is unique in North America. There are hundreds of software solutions available on the market to facilitate email marketing, but most of them have been created for the American market. Canadians would be well advised to make themselves aware of the particular nature of the law and abide by it,” he further stated.
The law is different from that of our neighbours to the south because it prescribes an “opt-in” manner of consent, while in the U.S., it’s just the opposite. In other words, in Canada, you must have prior consent from recipients before sending them a commercial email, while in the U.S., all you have to do is allow recipients to unsubscribe. Furthermore, the Cyberimpact survey reveals that 58% of email marketing users surveyed feel that the law negatively impacts their competitiveness compared to American enterprises.
“The government must clarify the question of consent management. At the moment there is legal uncertainty that confuses Canadians,” said Mr. Lalonde. He went on to affirm “That said, technology can greatly simplify consent management. With Cyberimpact, it’s not all that complicated!”
According to many marketing experts, email marketing is one of the marketing tactics that generate the best return on investment. It provides businesses a simple and economical means of communicating and maintaining a relationship with consumers. According to Transparency Market Research, email marketing should continue to grow at an annual rate of 19.6% through 2025.