How MailChimp’s double-opt in method complies with CASL

This is the third story in a series of articles, which will look at different software solutions to help marketers comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). While CASL came into force on July 1, marketers still have a three-year transition period, giving them the chance to convince their customers to give their express consent to receive commercial electronic messages.

Head on over here to see the first story in the series, featuring’s solution, or to read the second story, featuring Elite Email. The third story, featuring Constant Contact’s solution, is here.


When CASL’s enforcement date came and went, email marketing solutions provider MailChimp wasn’t too concerned about ensuring its customers were compliant.

That’s not due to any lack of interest in CASL – it’s actually because most of MailChimp’s customers were already complying with the new laws. The company is known for setting strict marketing practices in place, as it gives its customers shared IP addresses. Even one company that runs afoul of its marketing practices can wreck the reputation of that IP address for all other senders, so MailChimp is pretty quick to lay down the law, says Valerie Warner Danin, general counsel and privacy officer for MailChimp.

That meant the key for MailChimp was to ensure its customers would be able to show they were documenting all instances of receiving consent. On the whole, this can be a good way of ensuring consumers really do want marketers’ emails, Warner Danin says.

“Marketers don’t always like it, but the big value is that customers like it,” she says. “It’s definitely better results for individuals who want to see your content. They’re more likely to open and read your messages … It’s a benefit for marketers and for consumers, who are better able to manage [their] email.”

Here’s a list of what MailChimp does to help marketers stay CASL-compliant:

The double opt-in method:

Given MailChimp’s strict standards around email marketing, it’s had a two-step process for email subscriptions for a while. As CASL doesn’t allow marketers to put pre-checked boxes as an option for consumers agreeing to receive their messages, MailChimp asks its marketers to set up a system where consumers must do two things to opt in – for example, they must first sign up on a form, and then they must confirm their subscription through a confirmation link sent to their email address. It forces people to do two things to agree to receive emails, but that also means they’re more likely to be engaged, Warner Danin says.

The new template for CASL-compliant subscription emails:

Like the other email marketing solutions in this series, MailChimp has also created an email template featuring CASL-compliant language, as well as a confirmation link asking consumers to click and give express consent to continue sending messages. Marketers can customize this template to fit their businesses.

(Image: MailChimp).
(Image: MailChimp).

The Email Genome Project:

While this feature isn’t directly related to CASL, it’s still a handy tool for marketers looking to send the most effective emails possible. The software acts as a big data project for email, combing through billions of email addresses to help marketers figure out the optimum send time for their messages, whether someone opting in is just a robot and not a real human, and so on.

Pricing for MailChimp’s service doesn’t change with the added CASL-compliant features, Warner Danin says. There is a free service for marketers sending up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers, but there are also plans that can be calculated online here.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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