CASL Compliance: What You Need to Know

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Pull up a chair, maybe grab a steamy cup of coffee and kick off your shoes in favor of some nice slippers. After endless hours of dredging though the new laws, our team has created the ultimate guide to CASL Compliance and how it applies to you.

Benchmark Email and CASL

As its name would suggest, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is based in Canada, and only has reach on Canadian senders and recipients. While Benchmark Email and most of our userbase is not located in Canada, we will be fully compliant with the new standards, and will remain to be as transparent as possible to any ISP or Government organization that contacts us with regards to a complaint. This means that if you are using Benchmark Email as your email service provider and you are sending emails to, or are based in Canada, you will also be expected to comply with these standards.

Opt-in Status of a Recipient

In order to send emails to a recipient, you MUST have obtained the consent of the recipient. There are two formal titles to consent, both of which are explained below:

Express consent is the most desirable form of recipient as there is no legal time-limit on sending emails to such a contact. These contacts are defined as a recipient who has specifically requested to receive emails from the sender via an approved signup form.

  • In any case of a complaint or legal matter, the burden of proof will lie on the sending organization. This makes it imperative that the sending organization records and stores any and all details regarding the recipient’s opt-in status.
  • Subscriptions must be of the recipients own volition. Pre-checked boxes or “implied subscriptions” do not qualify, Make sure that your signup forms clearly let the recipient know what they are signing up for; and make sure that the subscription is optional.
  • Confirmed Opt-In is not required, however it is highly recommended as it is the only way to ensure that each of your contacts are legitimate.

Note: Up until this point, Benchmark email has not had any policy regarding pre-checked boxes qualifying as opt-in. Any contact that was gathered using this measure would no longer be considered as an “Express Consent Recipient”, but rather as an “Implied Consent Recipient.” Be sure to verify that each of your signup forms are in compliance with the new standards.

Implied Consent is when a recipient implies that they would like to receive your emails without having completed an approved signup form.
Up until this point, implied consent has consisted of:

  • A recipient who has purchased or had some contacract from the sender any time in the past.
  • A recipient who has had a business relationship with the sender any time in the past.
  • A recipient who has inquired about products or services any time in the past.

As of July 1st, the definition of Implied Consent is as follows:

  • A recipient who has purchased or had a contract of some nature with the sender within 24 months of the current date.
  • A recipient who has had a business relationship of a professional nature with the sender within 24 months of the current date.
  • A recipient who has inquired about products or services within 6 months of the current date.
  • A recipient has been a member of a club, organization, or voluntary organization within 24 months of the current date.
  • A recipient has made a donation/gift to, volunteered for, or attended an event hosted by an organization where the sender is a registered charity, political party, or political candidate for a publically elected office within 24 months of the current date.

Note: There are two key differences here. The first and most important is that there are now time limits on implied consent email addresses. Any sender who has contacts falling into this category should make every effort to confirm that recipient’s address as quickly as possible. The second key component here is a bit harder to identify since it isn’t specifically stated; unlike the CAN-SPAM Act, Politicians are not exempt from the CASL standards as some of the above points directly relate to their own operations.

Being that this new law is unprecedented, there are bound to be questions that may not be answered by the above information. Our support team stands at the ready to assist you if you have any questions or concerns; you need only to reach out to us. We can be reached anytime via our Live Chat & Email, or during our normal operating hours of 7am – 5pm PST.

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