Why You Should Care About Anti-Spam Laws

Another gorgeous day in Vancouver.

Another gorgeous day in Vancouver.

I think so. More and more countries are introducing legislation around electronic communication and even without the legal requirement I believe that it’s just ethical to, for instance, always make sure that a person really wants to receive your messages. The latest Anti-Spam law in the news is CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Law), here are a couple of links that explain it all very nicely:

Jamie Leigh (my favorite Wordpress designer): Consent is Sexy
Mailchimp: About the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

The main gist of it is this:

Get consent, provide an opt-out, identify yourself. Consent is either implied or express. Implied means there is an existing relationship between you and the recipient, like a business transaction. There are a few other scenarios, too, which are explained in the links above. In my mind consent should always be EXPRESS. Meaning: the recipient has actively opted into receiving your emails. It’s a courtesy if nothing else. I really hate being spammed by people or companies where I know that I never asked to be put on a mailing list. It’s so intrusive and disrespectful. The bottom line is this:

  • Be transparent about your intentions and purpose of your communications.
  • Use a reputable provider such as Mailchimp | AWeber | Constant Contact.
  • Identify yourself: Add your name, physical mailing address, phone number, email address, website address to every message you send.
  • Have a clear one-click unsubscribe option.

A word on adding a physical address to your emails. If you are working from home you may be reluctant to reveal your private address. In fact, I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to put a home address on a public communication. But you are legally required to give a physical mailing address so I would suggest in this case to get a PO Box and put that in there. 

For more information on anti-spam laws around the world this is also a very useful link:

Mailchimp: Terms of Use and Anti-Spam Requirements

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