the average email user, anti-spam measures are viewed as a good thing. After all, most
inboxes are already crammed with daily deals offers, marketing newsletters, e-commerce receipts
and maybe even the occasional personal email. No one needs some unsolicited
nonsense cluttering things up even more.
For email marketers, however,
anti-spam may sound like the kiss of death. Not that all, or even most, email
marketing programs are spam-ridden, but often casual users and government regulators
have trouble telling the difference.
Which is precisely why many
email marketers were holding their collective breath in anticipation
of newly proposed anti-spam legislation in Canada. Fortunately, after
analyzing the bill, they generally agreed that it’s nothing to lose sleep over.
Many initially had understandable
reservations when the legislation was first proposed last fall, but most now
feel as though the bill has been drastically improved, in large part due to
cooperation with the email marketing industry.
One of the biggest changes to the
legislation deals with opt-in consent. Before, the bill insisted that all
opt-in consent be granted in written form, but it has since been changed to
allow for verbal permission as well.
The initial draft also required
email marketers to let subscribers opt-out in a maximum of two clicks, but the
new version changes the working to read “readily performed.”
Email marketers worried about
similar measures being brought up in the United States needn’t, at least not
yet. Much of this recent Canadian legislation was intended to have broader
application, more intense penalties and has a greater reach outside of Canadian
borders than the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act passed in 2003.