The Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued its first penalty of $1.1 million to Compu-Finder for four violations of Canada’s anti-spam law, CASL. According to the press release, Compu-Finder sent commercial emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly.

CASL, which went into force on July 1, 2014, seeks to protect Canadians from email spam. CASL set high standards for email marketers and requires them to keep an audit trail of opt-in email permission.

You can watch a quick video about how CASL applies to your organization to help you navigate the law within your existing database.

This 9-month old law already has significant consequences for companies like Compu-Finder. This is the first of many filings that have been noted but not yet announced. We should expect more action coming from the CRTC over the next few months.

CASL is significant to marketers because it raises the bar for email marketing. The law applies to anyone sending email to recipients in Canada or sending from Canada.  Marketers sending email must ensure they only send to people who ask to be sent email. Marketers must include an unsubscribe in their emails and honor the opt-out without delay. Additionally, marketers have to maintain records of their compliance – proof that someone opted-in to their communications and when. Without this information, you could be at risk for penalties.

While CASL may seem cumbersome, it’s actually consistent with email marketing best practices: sending messages to those who have opted-in to receive your email, providing a quick and easy unsubscribe and sending relevant content to your contacts. Following these practices will lead to better email delivery, less complaints and an overall better user experience with your brand.

Click here to download our guide on email deliverability best practices, welcome messages and managed message preferences programs to learn more.