Bill C28 – Anti Spam Legislation – Permission Based Email List

Two weeks ago we introduced you to the fact that Canada now has anti-spam legislation – one of the toughest policies in the world. We promised to discuss various aspects of Bill C28 in future blogs. Today’s is the first of that discussion on permission-based email lists – the essence of Bill C28.

From Bill C28 Requirements & Prohibitions
Unsolicited Electronic Messages

6. (1) It is prohibited to send or cause or permit to be sent to an electronic address a commercial electronic message unless
(a) the person to whom the message is sent has consented to receiving it, whether the consent is express or implied; and
(b) the message complies with subsection (2).(We will explore this topic in a future issue- Content) 

So just what does “consent is express or implied” mean?

Ultimately, the best way to have express consent is to have your readers sign up through an on-line form to receive your email messages. (Like the one below – which consequently is my form for the various businesses I have). Don’t be shy – sign up while you’re reading. This is obviously express consent. But in today’s society, web browsers are inundated with requests to join mailing lists – they are fearful that their email address will show up on multitudes of lists by subscribing to one.

It is important that potential registrants feel safe in the knowledge that your company does not share personal information including email addresses with others.  In my case – I have a sub-list that allows readers to sign up for messages from our advertisers – I am always amazed at just how many people sign up for this. People do want more information – but it must be relevant to what they are seeking.

You can also gain “express consent” by having a sign-up for our e-news at your counter, forms that can be completed by your clients at trade shows, etc.,  you can have check boxes for recipients to sign up for your e-news on all literature you produce. If that box is checked, you have permission.

___ Yes, please add my email address ______________________________ to your database.
Name: _____________________________ Date: ______________________

You can also simply ask the person you are speaking with if you can add them to your database, however with this method you will have no written consent. The person will likely be more responsive if they physically sign up for your e-news themselves. It is too easy to say ‘ yes’ go ahead – add me – and never remember authorizing it.

For your convenience this document is geared to helping you ‘build an email list that will help build your business’.

What is ‘implied’ consent? Well that one is open to interpretation.

What is your interpretation of ‘implied consent’?

We’ll discuss this one next week.

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