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CASL Check-up: Gauging the Current Outlook on Spam in Canada

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With the one year anniversary of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) almost here, there’s plenty of questions floating around in the email marketing community. Did CASL work, or is spam still a problem? Should I still be worried about any compliance issues? What’s the next step in the fight against spam? To help you sift through this conversation and learn more about the past, present, and future of Canada’s fight against spam email marketing practices, let’s take a minute to check in on the status of CASL and its position in the current marketplace.

Delving into the Impact of CASL on Spammers

Now that we have almost a year’s worth of data on the books, it’s only logical for the discussion to turn to the raw effectiveness of the anti-spam strategy. According to the experts over at the SPAMfighter blog, the answer to this question falls firmly into the “success” designation. After the law went live on July 1st, 2014, spam originating in Canada fell an astounding 37 percent. Even more impressive is the fact that this number continues to dip as more and more offenders are brought to justice or change to more transparent and acceptable tactics.

Unfortunately, CASL still hasn’t alleviated all of the issues related to spam emails. As the team at SPAMfighter go on to explain, inbound spam from Russia, the United States, and other foreign locations continue to be an issue. However, regulators and officials continue to seek out punishment for those abroad, potentially setting a new precedent for handling international spam complaints that affect consumers here in Canada.

What about Those on the Right Side of the Law?

Of course with such a harsh crackdown on spammers serving as the leading image of the CASL movement, it makes sense to assume that properly handling email campaigns has also become a more demanding affair. Thankfully, IT World Canada’s Jeff Jedras offers up some research that dispels this myth and helps prove that generating buzz in the inbox under CASL guidelines is still a viable strategy.

Specifically, Jedras notes that over 70 percent of Canadian small organizations have continued on with business as usual, and at least nine percent have increased their operations during this year-long period of CASL application. Even list sizes have remained largely unchanged as consumers continue to have access to consistent opt-out opportunities.

The moral of the story here is clear; if you play by the rules, CASL and its enforcers have no need to step in and stop you and your audience from reaping the rewards of this mutually beneficial relationship.

Making a Better Inbox Experience for Consumers

As for the person on the other side of the screen, Elyse Dupre of Direct Marketing News points out that there’s never been a better time for Canadian consumers in the inbox. Despite the concerns faced by brands and marketers over the implementation of CASL compliance, the average Canadian shopper has hardly noticed a change in the email marketing process or their desire to continue receiving this kind of content.

With the average viewer spending about 1.2 hours in their inbox a day – and 68 percent of all shoppers listing email offers as their favorite form of outreach – it’s safe to say that CASL has done little to damage the relationship between eager members of the contact list and the participating brand. In fact, it wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise if the continued drop in spam offenders helps push the demand for authentic, valuable email offers to newer and greater heights.

Keep Your Brand on Track for Email Marketing Success

So now that you’re all caught up on the current status of CASL, what’s next for your brand? The answer to this question revolves around your goals and aspirations for the future. Are you interested in expanding your email operations and reaching out to new audiences? What if this is your first time reading about email marketing and you’re looking to capture sales that would otherwise go unrealized? Regardless of where you currently fit into the process, it’s safe to say that as long as you play by the rules, there’s nothing that can stop your brand from truly making a mark in the inbox with effective and sound email content.

If you’d like to learn more about CASL compliance and advice for staying on the right side of this law, feel free to check out our CASL Survival Guide, expert analysis from our CEO, Robert Burko, and additional coverage.

About Victor Green

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