Email marketing has been a popular messaging channel for years; however, unsolicited, irrelevant, and poorly targeted email messages annoyed consumers and threatened to undermine the entire email marketing industry. In an effort to combat this, the Canadian Government has implemented stricter anti-spam legislation, known as CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation).
What Have We Learned So Far
One of the most comprehensive anti-spam laws in the world, CASL has proved that it has teeth. Since its implementation back in July 2014 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CTRC) has fined four prominent companies:
- Porter Airlines (CA $150,000) - in early 2015 because of alleged faulty unsubscribe features.
- Dating site Plentyoffish (CA $48,000) - in early 2015 because of alleged faulty unsubscribe features.
- Rogers Media Inc. (CA $200,000) - on Nov 20, 2015 for allegedly violating Canada's Anti-Spam Law.
- Corporate training company Compu-Finder (CA $1,100,000) - in March 2015, for four alleged violations, including sending unsolicited email and having a nonworking unsubscribe link.
Not surprisingly, the legislation initially cast a chill over the email marketing industry. “There was a period of time where people were extremely concerned about CASL,” said Matthew Vernhout, Chief Privacy Officer at Inbox Marketer. “But I think as they looked at the data they were collecting and came to understand the legislation and its compliance requirements, their fears were eased.”
In the two years since its enactment, email has made a comeback. In 2016, according to Salesforce, 80% of marketers reported email marketing to be core to their business, and in the next two years, 97% of marketing leaders plan to either further increase or maintain their level of spending on digital marketing.. Furthermore, when comparing year-over-year metrics from July 2013 to July 2015 (1 year pre- and post-CASL implementation), Inbox Marketer client data has shown modest increases in email opens, total clicks, and total volume, suggesting to us that CASL hasn’t had the dampening effect that some experts predicted prior to CASL’s implementation.
Email Marketing Benchmarks - Key Findings
- Average unsubscribe clicks rates dropped from 0.22% to 0.19%
- Average complaint rates dropped from 0.03% to 0.01%.
- Average bounce rates dropped from 0.61% to 0.58%.
- Open rates improved slightly from 25.2% to 26.3%.
- Total number of opens increased by 30.7%.
- Total volume of emails increased by 25.5%.
- Click-through rates have remained unchanged at 5.1%.
- Total number of clicks has increased by 25.1%.
Download our "CASL: Two Years Later" whitepaper to learn more about the effect CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation) has had on the email marketing industry and how you, as marketers, have adapted to see continued success.