If you are a Canadian business who does email marketing to prospects and customers, you should be aware of Canada's Anti-SPAM Legislation (CASL).
A great summary and a nifty chart is available here. Suffice it to say. our clients have started to opt-in their database lists. Our initial feedback from them is that if your lists was high quality to begin with, and of reasonable size, you will retain most of your email list. If the list is of suspect quality or really old, you will lose most of your email list. Your mileage may vary. So far we have retained about 20% of the NewPath Consulting list. We value our relationship with every one of those people, and confirm our relationship with them through CASL. It is unfortunate that we will most likely lose 70%+ of our list, but we cannot afford the risk of breaking CASL.
The CASL law will allow people to take legal action (sue) post July 1, 2017 when the CASL Private Right of Action takes effect. Until this date, private citizens will not be able to take civil action against violators of the CASL. After this date anyone who has been affected can take legal action.
The Government has promised that after July 1, 2014 they will make a concerted effort to go after the serious offenders, the “spammers” we all detest. The Government will enforce the legislation through the CRTC and various other Federal agencies like the Competition Bureau and the Privacy Commissioner.