Yes. An unsubscribe mechanism is required in every commercial electronic message (CEM).
When sending a CEM to an electronic address, there are three general requirements.
1. Consent, either expressed or implied
2. Information identifying the sender in the form of a mailing address that has been valid for at least 60 days (Yes, you can use a post office box address.)
3. An unsubscribe mechanism
Most reputable business people, think that an unsubscribe mechanism, is just plain good manners. CASL states that the unsubscribe mechanism “must be consumer-friendly – simple, easy to use and must be ‘readily performed,’ without difficulty or delay.”
Gone are the days when anyone could send a CEM, and have a pre-checked box stating that the receiver opted-in, when clearly they have not. That’s just bad manners. As of July 1st it is illegal.
A link in an email that takes the user to a web page, where he or she can unsubscribe from receiving all or some types of CEMs, is acceptable. For CEMs sent by SMS (text messages), receivers just need to reply “STOP” or “Unsubscribe” and that must be accepted as an “unsubscribe” request.
If you send CEMs from Outlook, add an unsubscribe mechanism to your signature. This can be as simple as stating “If you no longer wish to receive emails of this nature, simply reply to this email with “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.” Don’t forget to add your mailing address to your signature to comply with requirement number 2 above.
“Responses to an inquiry related to your commercial activity, or providing a requested quote” is allowed. For instance, someone sends you an email, or fills in a web form, asking you about your solutions you now have their expressed consent for you to send them a CEM.
So ensure that your marketing initiatives are relevant to your audience by encouraging them to opt in. You will have less to worry about.
Does the CASL apply to social media? More of that in Myth #5.
We hosted a complimentary Open Forum Webinar June 19th for our clients. We shared information about the law that affects the marketing and sales strategies for business. Since then, there seems still be a lot of questions around the issue.
If you would like a copy of the webinar or ebook, email me.