Email Marketing and Anti-Spam Laws in North America

Email Marketing Anti-Spam Laws in North AmericaIt’s important to be aware of email marketing and anti-spam laws in your country. If you’ve done any type of email marketing, you’re likely familiar with the CAN-SPAM act of 2013. This is the first bill outlining national standards for how email marketing should be used by United States businesses. CAN-SPAM details a procedure and fine/criminal penalty structures for businesses that blast recipients who haven’t opted in to a list with unsolicited advertising.

While folks who have been routinely spammed may not be able to afford the legal bills and filing fees associated with going after spammers, the government has been cracking down on ESPs (email service providers) over the past few years. This makes purchasing lists wholesale from larger providers tricky. If users haven’t directly opted into your list, you could run into problems with your email service provider, including being banned from using the ESP, sending further emails until you disclose how you built your list, etc.

When it comes to legislation, it’s not just about understanding your country’s guidelines – new email marketing legislation is popping up all over the world, most recently in Canada. Doing efficient email marketing now includes understanding the laws of the country whose users you’re marketing to.

The CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Law)

The new CASL legislation went into effect July 1 of this year. Harsher penalties will be enacted for businesses that don’t comply with new regulations. The law defines businesses must obtain implied or express consent from recipients. Implied consent may include exchanging messages with friends or family members, business emails sent to you from a recipient’s business address or a customer who transacted business with in the past 24 months.

Making sure that you comply with the laws of countries you’re marketing to can save you headaches in the future. Losing the ability to send emails across ESPs can hurt your chances of reaching your audience and cause huge headaches for sending to a list in the future. It’s a good idea to do a Google search on the law changes in Canada to make sure you’re on the right side of the law – and your users.

Ethical Email Marketing

Legislation in different countries is essentially created with the goal of ensuring businesses do email marketing ethically – using emails that are given to them freely and willingly by users rather than soliciting to people who don’t want to receive marketing in their emails. Email providers like Google are also changing their algorithms to ensure that spammers make it to inboxes less and less. It makes sense to use a progressive ESP and take a good look at how you’re building your email marketing list.

Marketing automation can help connect all the different pieces of your advertising together. Doing efficient, compliant email marketing is a great step in the right direction of an effective marketing campaign. We can help! Contact Lead Liaison for more ideas on how we can help your email marketing ethically grow as your business grows.