Knowledgebase: OCAD U 365 Email
Faculty & Admin Staff: CASL & Email Consent
Updated: 01 September 2020 09:00 AM

CASL and email consent

Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, (CASL) there are rules and requirements for email communications, which affect the way we need to manage our contact lists. Although most communications sent from OCAD U will not be affected by these requirements, it is still strongly recommended that we follow these best practices to avoid potential issues in the future.

The three basic requirements are, as follows:

  1. Identification: All emails must clearly indicate who they are from (OCAD University, department, etc.), including a valid mailing address;
  2. Consent: Recipients must have given express consent for the communication;
  3. Unsubscribe Mechanism: You must provide a working and timely unsubscribe mechanism for recipients to be excluded from future communications.

The first requirement is straightforward: ensure you’re clearly stating somewhere that the email is from OCAD University and the department sending it and include the full OCAD University mailing address.


            OCAD University, Faculty of Art
            100 McCaul St. Toronto, ON, M5T 1W1

The second and third requirements are more complex and will change, based on how you currently manage your email lists. It is strongly recommended that you use an established email service to manage these lists (MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Razor’s Edge, etc.) to easily provide consent and subscription options.

If you are using a tool or service to update your lists, you should be able to include an automatic ‘unsubscribe’ link in your emails, as well as a link to update their consent preferences. For example, Mailchimp provides a link to ‘unsubscribe’, which is embedded in all of their templates. If you are only using the service to manage your list, you can copy their provided link into your email and send via Outlook, etc. Typically, services like this will require and automatically add these links to your emails, so you may not have to take any action if you use one.

Most established email list services have some documentation on how to include these ‘unsubscribe’ and consent links. Below are some links to popular services and their available documentation.


MailchimpStay Compliant with CASL 

GroupMail: How to Add an Unsubscribe or Opt-out Link


An alternative to these third party tools are the fillable forms provided by the OCAD U CMS. By creating a sign-up form, you can allow users to give consent or re-submit the form to indicate they would like to be unsubscribed. This eliminates some of the manual process, but you will still need to maintain the list based on the user submissions. Important information to keep track of to support your due diligence is to show a list of persons/email addresses from whom you have received express consent with the date of consent and how it was obtained. If a person unsubscribes, keep track of the unsubscribe request, when it was received and the reason why.

If you are not using a tool to manage your subscription list (for example, you are manually updating an Excel spreadsheet), you will need to provide a regularly used contact email for persons to submit their unsubscribe requests and track all requests to be unsubscribed and/or their consent status (express or implied). While not ideal, if this process is conducted regularly, and you keep track of the important information noted above, this may be sufficient due diligence. 

If you only contacting internal members of the community (vs. the public), you are not required to follow these CASL rules.

Questions? Contact Marketing & Communications at