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Posted by Stuart Jansen on August 25, 2015

It has been over a year since CASL was implemented; it seems like just yesterday that the Canadian marketing landscape was filled with speculation and doomsday predications. Now that the dust has settled, let's take a look at whether our fears were warranted, and how effective the legislations have been.

FEAR 1: We're going to lose all of our email subscribers!

Let's face it, changing processes to make sure that our distribution list was CASL compliant was a tedious task. We all faced the harsh reality of rejection, and saw our precious contact lists shrink dramatically. Yet, there is a silver lining in all of this; marketers saw an increased ROI on their email campaigns. This is because the people who unsubscribed from email lists weren't interested in the brand, and those who remained were. Since most email distribution platforms charge based on the number of recipients, marketers actually started spending less on their email campaigns while maintaining their previous conversion rate leading to higher ROI. Essentially, CASL allowed us to to cut the fat from our email lists.

FEAR 2: Fines are so high, my small business will go bankrupt simply for making an error in tracking CASL subscribers!

The maximum fine for violating CASL is $10 million dollars! However, since implementation there have been approximately 322,000 spam complaints and only 3 CASL fines totalling $1.3 million dollars to date:

  • Compu-Finder - $1.1 million dollars after being responsible for 65,000 spam complaints for promoting training courses
  • Porter Airlines - $150,000 for not including a clear unsubscribe button on their emails and for emailing customers who were not CASL compliant
  • Plenty of Fish - $48,000 for not including a clear unsubscribe button on their emails

All things considered, the CRTC has been quite fair in administering fines for failure to comply with CASL.

So it's time to admit it, CASL wasn't that bad for marketers, in fact it was pretty good. Add to that the fact that consumers are receiving almost 40% less spam, we'd say that CASL has been very effective! 

Have you had a different experience with CASL? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Do you still have questions about CASL? Find answers to FAQs here.