On December 15, 2010, the Government of Canada passed the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act. The bill was ratified, but not enforced until July 1st, 2014.
As stated in the Bill itself – “the enactment establishes a regulatory framework to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities.”
It aims to protect people from unsolicited emails and strengthening good email marketing practices. Most of the factors help maintain high open rates and high engagement.
The law touches three major aspects of email marketing:
1) Mandatory Physical Address in emails
2) Mandatory Unsubscribe link in emails
3) Express opt in to email lists
1) Mandatory physical address in emails
Contact information must be included in all electronic communications sent for commercial purposes, be it in the form of the sender’s current street (or civic) address, postal box or general delivery address (such as a mail forwarding service) that is valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent.
2) Mandatory unsubscribe link
All campaigns must include an easy way to allow people to opt out from a list. Campaigns sent through a Canadian email marketing service provider should include an
[UNSUBSCRIBE] link in the footer if it is not found in the email.
3) Express consent
You must have express consent for all contacts getting added to your list. Before getting added to a list, people must either manually type in their email or check an unchecked box (thereby expressly consenting to receive emails).
Legal responsibility for proof of consent is on the sender. Therefore, keep records and proof of when and how people signed up. If you don’t have the proof now, we recommend that you proceed to a reconfirmation campaign as soon as possible.
Does this apply to me?
This bill applies to all marketers sending email to or from Canada.
It is important to note that all senders (whether in Canada or not) should keep this bill in mind when sending email. You cannot be certain where your recipients are located when they’re checking their emails. In order to protect you (and us) we abide by this law.