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Bill C-27: CRM expert concerned Canadian eMail marketers not ready

Bill C-27: CRM expert concerned Canadian eMail marketers not ready


If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear, does it make a sound?  If a bill passes in Parliament and no one is around to care, does it still take effect?  I never really had a great answer for the first question but, the answer to the second one is a resounding yes, and in the course of researching the implications of Bill C-27 for clients I was surprised by the distinct lack of opinions apparent from the Canadian email marketing community.

I recently made this comment to Jim Ducharme (editor of The eMail Guide), who recently posted his “5 Things Marketers Need to Know” here at the eMail Guide.  Jim replied with a couple of points:

1- It appears many Canadian companies think of Canada after the US because so many do the bulk of their business there.

2- There’s a tendency to assume we won’t do it any different than the Americans and so if you are covered for Can-Spam you are covered for any laws here.

I think Jim hits the nail on the head, and it may also be a matter of many of us simply leaving our homework until the last minute like we used to in high school.  There are some serious implications that will affect most email marketers; in particular that we won’t be able to email any customers that we haven’t had a “business relationship” with for two years.  This is especially the case for those of us involved in winback or cross-promotion campaigns for former (or even current) customers that haven’t transacted with us for a while.  It will certainly be interesting times for the Canadian email marketers in January if and when Bill C-27 does indeed pass.

Curtis Rushing,
CRM Planner and StrategistBlitz – a division of Cossette Inc.


Curtis Rushing leads CRM initiatives for clients of Blitz, uncovering key customer data insights and optimizing new and ongoing marketing initiatives, including curriculum and trigger-based email programs.

  • Profile:  Jeff Ginsberg has 17+ years’ experience and is an industry known authority on email marketing who gets in the trenches with clients and helps them fulfill their marketing objectives, increase revenue and brand engagement. Clients rely on him and his team at The eMail Company to provide them with expertise from strategy to technology and from campaign management to channel integration. Jeff has worked with clients across all spectrums in the financial, automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods space. His experience covers both B2B and B2C markets. He has a strong background in educating and training agencies and clients about email best practices and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to marketing tools and vendor selection. While Jeff’s team may be small, they know how to solve BIG email marketing problems. Looking for help with your next campaign? Don’t be afraid to give him a call – Jeff and his team ready to help you today. Give me a call: Toll Free: 877-We-eMail (877-933-6245) Local: 416-225-7711 eMail: jeff@theemailcompany.com
  • Website:  http://www.theemailguide.com
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/theemailguide
  • LinkedIn:   http://ca.linkedin.com/in/chiefemailofficer
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Your thoughts here
  1. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the comment! In my opinion, the more dialogue we can generate about this, the better. I think the key point Curtis was making is that any new law which could affect your marketing or client communications, should be something you or someone within you orginization is tracking closely, in turn making that information available to the decision/policy makers.

    Do you feel that the awareness level regarding C-27 is high enough? I know CAUCE has certainly been doing it’s part to get the word out.


    Jim Ducharme
  2. Thanks for the comment Matt. Your points are all well taken. Our experience has been that, especially with businesses where the product is subsrcription-based or has a long selling cycle, in many cases emails have routinely been going out to customers past the 18 month – 2 year range.

    Often, especially for smaller companies who may even deploy emails in-house, and especially in the b2b world, the assumption has been that customers who have not opted out were fair game for email communications for an unlimited time period.

    My concern is for these companies, sending newsletters, product updates, etc. to former customers, and having no awareness of the changing landscape after this bill is passed.

    Curtis Rushing

  3. I’m actually very surprised by the tone of this article. Most marketer’s will only need to make minor changes to their existing email programs.

    It’s important to remember that;
    1- Opt-in is recognized as the standard best practice for responsible advertisers already
    2 – Almost every anti-spam law in the world is based on an opt-in regime
    3 – ISP are already demanding opt-in from bulk mailers
    4 – PIPEDA has already been promoting Opt-in Data collection for over a decade
    5 – Bill C-27 is not entirely opt-in: in circumstances where the law allows consent to be implied, this is effectively a form of ‘opt-out’ consent. As such, Bill C-27 can be described as a mix between opt-in and opt-out.

    One other thing to point out is that if you do not have an active and ongoing business relationship with an individual over an 18 month period the likelihood that the individual is still going to engage with you is greatly reduced. Unengaged users over this time are more likely to report users as spam and or turn into Spam traps which will impact the overall performance of an email marketer’s program in the long run. This law promotes best practices and marketers in Canada that are already compliant with PIPEDA and CAN-SPAM should have little to worry about.

    Director At Large

  4. Judging from the buzz we are getting from the “hill”, it would seem that C-27 is going to happen and as you point out, we all need to be ready!


    Jim Ducharme
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