Updated June 9, 2014
If you are uploading contacts to the ePly event registration system and sending email marketing your event, you must have explicit permission from each contact. If you upload contacts where you do not have proper permission, ePly will deactivate your email privilege without notice. You cannot use purchased, rented, third party, harvested or scraped lists of any kind.
- Explicitly opted in with you online. Each recipient subscribed to your list online and opted in for one or several types of mailings, for example by clicking one or more subject-related check boxes that were unselected by default. Co-registration on a partner’s site is OK as long as as there are separate opt-in options for each list and it is clear to users that they are subscribing to your list. If you haven’t sent the recipient email in over 6 months, we recommend a reintroduction message reminding them what they subscribed to, and when.
- Explicitly opted in with you offline. Recipient completed your offline form, survey or participated in your contest and gave their express permission to be contacted by email about specific subject(s), for example by ticking an empty checkbox.
- Gave you their business card at an event. If it’s absolutely clear that by giving their card the recipient would be added to a list with a particular subject matter, you have permission. We recommend an introductory message reminding them what they subscribed to, and when.
- Explicitly opted in for the subject you are contacting them about. When opting in, it should be clear to the recipient what the nature of the mailings will be. For example, just because someone opted in for updates about a specific product doesn’t mean you can also add them to your general newsletter or promotional mailings for other products.
- Email address copied from the Internet or other source. Just because someone published an email address online, in a directory or on a business card, doesn’t mean they’ve given permission to be added to your mailing list.
- No email sent to recipient’s address in over 2 years. Even when proper permission is granted, it doesn’t last forever. When too much time goes by, people forget they opted in and will consider your email to be spam. The industry norm is that permission expires after 2 years of no contact.
- Email address obtained from a third party. If you purchased, rented, borrowed or otherwise acquired a list from another party, even if it’s an opt-in list, the recipients didn’t give their permission to hear from you specifically.
- Recipient is a customer but hasn’t opted in. Just because someone is your customer doesn’t give you explicit permission to send them email marketing messages. They would first have to opt in for the specific subject about which you are contacting them.
- Email address is generic and used by several people. You cannot email to generic email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org because they are often role-based and the users of such addresses change frequently. The only exception to this rule would be if you knew the recipient and were sure that it was their permanent individual email address.
- Email address is a distribution list or mailing list. You cannot send email to any address that forwards to more than one person because it is impossible to determine whether all recipients have given permission, and there is no way for them to unsubscribe individually.
Compliance under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”)
If you send emails to Canadian recipients, whether you are located in Canada or not, as of July 1, 2014 you may be subject to An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act (informally known as Canada’s Anti-Spam Law, CASL).
If you send Commercial Electronic Messages to Canadian recipients, you are most likely subject to CASL regulation. Commercial Electronic Messages (“CEM”s) are defined as any electronic messages including emails which encourage participation in a commercial activity, without regard to an expectation of profit. There are certain exceptions, but they are limited.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE EMAILS YOU SEND ARE SUBJECT TO CASL REGULATION. Failure to comply with CASL may result in severe administrative monetary penalties (up to $10,000,000 for organizations). ePly shall in no way be held responsible for your violation(s) of CASL. If you are unsure whether your emails are subject to CASL, we suggest you consult an attorney. More information about CASL can be found at the Government of Canada’s Anti-Spam website.
Compliance under CASL is more stringent than under other anti-spam laws, and more stringent than the general guidelines given further up in this Policy. As a general rule, to be compliant under CASL you must: (1) have obtained valid consent to send a recipient a CEM and (2) your CEM must contain certain information, including an unsubscribe mechanism with certain requirements.
Content Requirements for a CEM under CASL
Every CEM sent must include the following information:
- The name of the person or organization sending the CEM, or if the CEM is being sent on behalf of another person / organization, the name of the person / organization on whose behalf the CEM is sent;
- If the CEM is sent on behalf of another person / organization, a statement saying so;
- Contact information, which must include a physical mailing address AND an electronic communications method, whether email or phone or a web page contact form. A hyperlink to a web page with all this contact information is acceptable; and
- A valid unsubscribe mechanism.