During the recent years more and more changes and modifications in regional anti-spam laws are being announced. Any company or organization linked to commercial email sending has to comply with the laws of the given region. Mailigen, being one of the leading e-mail marketing service providers (ESP) in the world, does its best to follow legislation of the largest regions. Mainly, Mailigen emphasizes compliance with CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and Anti-Spam policy itself.
With customers’ needs in mind, Mailigen develops features and guidelines to help clients from the respective region comply with the law.
This article looks into:
- Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)
- European Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Mailigen’s features that help to comply with anti-spam laws
- Examples of some companies which have recently been fined for violations of anti-spam legislation
Please note that the content of this article is NOT legal advice
1. Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)
CASL became effective on July 1 2014 and it concerns commercial electronic messages. It applies to those who open emails in Canada e.g. from a Canadian IP address or emails that belong to a Canadian.
If an email to which CASL applies is Express consent, including double opt-in, then:
- If a user has given Express consent before July 1 2014, repeated consent is not needed
- If consent was given after July 1 2014, repeated consent has to be received within 24 months
2. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
During the recent years, including 2014 & 2015 , European Commission has been actively discussing user data protection policies, especially the annual Data Protection Day.
In December 2015 there was a discussion about General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the light that user data can only be processed with their permission and this permission has to be verifiable.
The legislation might come into force by 2018 when 28 Member States of the European Union will have transposed the provisions of the GDPR into their national law. Meanwhile it is advisable for every company that comes from an EU Member State or sends electronic messages to a Member State to keep a proof that the e-mail user has agreed to receive your newsletter.
3. Mailigen’s features that help to comply with anti-spam laws
Anti-spam legislation will become more and more powerful in order to limit unwanted e-mail numbers. Therefore it will become more and more common to check if e-mail users have chosen double opt-in for your database – also called confirmed opt-in and closed-loop opt-in.
Following regional legislation, Mailigen creates solutions for customers to be able to adjust to the laws of the specific region. Here are some Mailigen’s tools that you can use to maintain your e-mails as double opt-in which is the most recognized e-mail collecting type by the anti-spam organizations:
- SOI – time, when the user signed up for the newsletter;
- DOI – time when the user gave consent to receive the newsletter after signing up for it.
If you haven’t saved the time when the user gave consent to receive the newsletter, legally it is no longer double-opt-in, since you cannot prove it.
Nr.1 – Mailigen Signup forms that you can integrate in any site. Email users who will sign up through the form you created will receive an email confirmation link.
Nr.2 – Re-Activation email templates. With these templates you can invite users to become more active. For example, if a user hasn’t opened a single campaign for 6 months, send something unique, encouraging to restart activity. Or simply use the templates, offering users to re-activate and go for double opt-in.
Nr.3 – Embedding ReConfirm Merge tag (available in 19 languages).
ReConfirm merge announcement will be visible only to those email users who haven’t yet chosen to double opt-in. As soon as the recipient clicks on ..reconfirm.., their status will change to double opt-in and they will not see the ReConfirm announcement in the next campaign.
Nr.4 ReConfirm request for your list or account. You can ask Mailigen team to add a ReConfirm announcement to your account or list. It will be visible to all subscribers on your list who do not have double opt-in status.
Nr.5 – Segments for separating double opt-in and not double opt-in emails.. Segment all non double opt-in or double opt-in subscribers in order to determine the percentage of double opt-in subscribers among all your subscribers.
However, that is not all. Contact Mailigen team to ask for a specific solution and we will try to help. Maybe you are looking for a feature to select all users who opened campaigns in Canada, Russia or USA? With Mailigen’s automated segments it is possible.
Are you happy where you are and think there is no need to adjust? Here we give you some examples of companies who missed a thing or two and were penalized.
4. Companies recently “2015” penalized for violations of anti-spam legislation
- LinkedIn: $13,000,000 for sending unsolicited invitations to connect on LinkedIn
- Compu-Finder: $1,100,000 fine for sending unsolicited email and having a non-working unsubscribe link
- Porter Airlines: $150,000 fine for violating anti-spam rules
- PlentyofFish Media: $48,000 fine for violating Canada’s Anti-Spam Law
It is important to follow legislation changes and adjust your messages and systems to avoid being called to justice for violations of the law.
Let’s observe the law, follow any changes, adjust and feel free! ☺