Preparing for the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) with Marketo’s Marketing Automation

The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will go into effect on July 1, 2014. This requires explicit opt-in from Canadian recipients, before the first email is even sent. Cold calling 2.0? Illegal. List purchases? Nope. Implicit opt-in? Not really. The punishment for any company who violates CASL is a $10 million fine, and you’d better be sure that there will be some companies who get scapegoated to show Canada means business.

Here’s how you can deal with this, technically using Marketo, if you have a large (or small) amount of Canadian prospects:

  1. Get as much opt-in from Canadians as possible before July 1.
    • Three-attempt, three-week opt-in campaign. The general message is “click this button to opt in and continue the conversation” which goes to a thank-you page. Pull people out of the flow if they convert. Target is (Country = Canada or Inferred Country = Canada).
    • Added an “Opt-In to All Marketing Emails” field, as this will be more than Canada at some point.
    • If they click that button, change data value of “opt-in” to “true.”
  2. Transition rules on July 1.
    • Batch campaign run on July 1: if (Country = Canada or Inferred Country = Canada) and (Opt-In to All Marketing Emails = false), change “Unsubscribe” to “true.”
    • Trigger campaign starting on July 1: if (New Lead is Created from Marketo form), (Country = Canada or Inferred Country = Canada), and (Opt-In to All Marketing Emails = false), change “Unsubscribe” to “true.”
  3. Change Forms 2.0 to have opt-in field starting July 1.
    • Conditional visibility on “Opt-In to All Marketing Emails” field, only visible if IP address is in Canada. This is the one we’re working through, as it takes some fancy development to grab cookie data for anonymous visitors. If anyone conquers this, post the code!

Helpful hint: every Canadian marketer is going to run this exact same campaign before July 1, 2014. The longer you wait, the fewer Canadian leads you’ll be able to salvage. I’d love to graph the click-through-rates on these opt-in campaigns over the next few weeks, so you can see the CTR plummet. All that money you paid to generate Canadian leads is going to be entirely wasted if you don’t get their explicit opt-in, and you won’t be able to nurture them through email any more. (You might try multi-channel nurture, though.)

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  • Theresa

    You push Marketo like the sales person you claim you are not, provide little value to anyone who is reading this post and your tweet is offensive to all Canadians and Canadian businesses.

  • mlavery

    Hi – As a Marketo user I appreciate the step by step suggestions on how to deal with this. Curious if you’ve heard from anyone (including Marketo) on how to address #3.

    Thanks much!

  • Jordan Lund

    Hi Edward! The problem with #3 is that there is currently AT LEAST 1,574 IP ranges assigned to Canada – a good list is here – and it changes all the time, so even if you had the desire to go through and do “anonymous IP is not (list)” x 77,869,056 addresses (I cheated, Excel counted them for me), it would be out of date by the time you completed it.

    You might want to look at dynamically changing the page via the new RTP product. If IP is from Canada show page #1, if IP is not from Canada show page #2 but then RTP is an added product and an added cost as well.

    /source – I’m a Marketo Technical Account Manager