How to prepare for upcoming anti-spam law

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A new anti-spam law – that will require express consent of newsletter subscribers – will come into effect July 1, 2014 and brokers who currently disseminate newsletters are scrambling to become compliant. One broker offers his tips.

“It’s going to be interesting. (To prepare) it’s going to be as simple as sending an email … my plan is to send an email out saying, ‘hey I’ve got to filter this list as per the new regulations, if you wish to remain on this list please reply with a yes,’ or something along those lines,” Dustan Woodhouse of Dominion Lending Centres Canadian Mortgage Experts told “I tend to send an email to my applicants with a blog post and link them to my blog and allow them to sign up and … ten per cent say ‘no thanks.’”

Woodhouse advises brokers to start reaching out to clients ahead of July 1 because any unsolicited electronic message sent after that date may be considered a “commercial electronic message,” and – under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law -- any CEM sent will be prohibited unless its receiver has provided consent.

But before brokers panic, this new legislation may actually have a positive effect on business, according to Woodhouse.

“You’ve gotta reach out to all your existing subscribers if you want to keep emailing them but it’s another opportunity to touch base with your clients so I would look at it as a good thing,” Woodhouse said. He’s also set up his email marketing efforts in such a way that will require little preparation.

“I don’t add people to my mailing list who aren’t applicants; I try never to just blindly add somebody just because they’ve emailed me or I have their business card,” Woodhouse said. “I think it’s kind of bad form (to do that) and that’s why that legislation got legs – none of us want spam email.”

Another valuable tip is to check your errors and omissions (E&O) insurance to see if it protects you from breaching Canada's Anti-Spam Law because those who do not comply could be fined.
  • Ron Miller on 2014-04-15 10:11:18 AM

    I think it is a dumb law. Generally people aren't concerned with the odd email from a broker or Realtor.

    It is the 100 or so total junk emails from other countries. How do you stop them?

  • Lior, Mortgage Edge on 2014-04-16 3:50:28 PM


    I beg to differ, I am one of those people who is very much annoyed when other brokerages send out emails that they have direct access to private money (most of the time they don't), co-broker deals with us, etc.

    Here is a tip to the few consistent violators out there who like to spam agents and brokers at other brokerages: RESEARCH your prospects before you add their email to your mailing list. Sending out mass emails telling other brokers that you can do a private deal is waste of your time and it also demonstrates that as a salesperson you are a true loser who is afraid to pick up the phone and call. Sending out an email about private money to a broker who does private deals on a regular basis not only makes you look stupid and desperate, but the chances of you receiving any business are non-existent.

    I can't tell you how many spam emails like that I receive on a regular basis, particularly one Mortgage Alliance agent who keeps sending spam despite the fact I opt out.

    I look forward to this law putting a stop to this nonsense and for violators to pay hefty fines.

  • Ron Miller on 2014-04-16 4:15:09 PM


    I hear what you mean. I get them as well. They do get deleted.

    But if a new genuine lender comes along, I don't want them to be breaking the law by sending me an email with their announcement. New lenders are a huge plus for getting deals done that current lenders won't do.

    What irritates me is the 100 emails a day from,,,,, etc.

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