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CASL-compliant text messaging explained
CASL-compliant text messaging explained
Rules and guidelines set forth by CRTC for sending text messages are already handled for you behind the scenes.
Jose avatar
Written by Jose
Updated over a week ago

Legal Disclaimer: The article is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Information on this website are published by Expiration Reminder to provide your business with free information regarding the laws and policies described. While Expiration Reminder provides a communications platform built with compliance in mind, you should contact an attorney before sending a launching a text message marketing campaign for your business. You should also consult with legal professionals regarding any questions or advice you may have about Canada's Anti-spam Legislation.

CASL in a nutshell

Compliance with Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation boils down to four basic rules:

  1. You must have a form of valid recipient consent.

  2. You must provide a valid, easy-to-use unsubscribe mechanism.

  3. You must clearly identify yourself and your business.

  4. Your messages must not be false or misleading.

What is implied consent?

Let's use the familiar name John Doe to refer to any given message recipient.

Implied consent happens spontaneously when you and John Doe have an existing business relationship (EBR). The existing business relationship only occurs if John Doe has purchased a product, a service, or made a formal agreement with your business within the last 2 years. Simply put, John Doe is a customer of yours.

Implied consent is considered a bare minimum CASL requirement. However, that doesn't make it a less manageable, less traceable or less reliable path to achieving respectful customer communications and flawless legal compliance.

Implied consent can expire

Texting your customer John Doe based on his implied consent will never get you into trouble with CASL. However, you must know that implied consent doesn't last forever. Before you assume your customer John Doe's implied consent and start texting away, the single most important question you must ask yourself is:


Let's reword the question to fit specific situations:
When was the last time John Doe took a training?
When was the last time John Doe came for an appointment?
When was the last time John Doe bought anything from us?

Regardless of which of the above questions fits your context, if that last transaction was more than 24 months ago, you should not text John Doe because his implied consent is no longer valid. The existing business relationship you had with this customer happened too long ago.

Luckily, CASL exempts various messaging scenarios applicable to your business context. The following messages are exempt from CASL requirements:

  • Messages sent in the context of full on, two-way conversations with users.

  • Messages sent as direct response to customer questions, requests or inquiries.

  • Messages that provide customers with warranty, safety recall or legal information about products or services they purchased from your business.

  • Messages that facilitate, complete or confirm transactions with your business.

CASL compliance is built-in your text messages

For all text messages falling under the jurisdiction of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation, Expiration Reminder systematically appends the proper unsubscribe mechanism mandated by CASL, and the sender information link required by CRTC regulations.

Automated unsubscribe mechanism

Recipients can easily opt out of receiving your text messages by texting any of the following unsubscribe keywords: STOP, END, QUIT, CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE. Expiration Reminder automatically handles unsubscribe requests and unsubscribe list management for you, behind the scenes.

Open text requests to unsubscribe

Not everyone is comfortable with opt-out keyword commands. Therefore, your recipients can also request to opt-out in their own words by replying naturally to any of your text messages.

For this cases, you can change the Delivery Type field of the contact and change it to Individual Email so the user only receives emails.

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