In July we told you about the new email marketing law that was passed in Canada. At that time, we explained why this law affects you even if you aren’t in Canada. It applies to any company that sends email to anyone in Canada. This means that if you have a commercial email list of customers, chances are there could be Canadian residents on your list. Being required to trim down your email list that you worked hard to build never seems like a good thing. However, it is an opportunity to hone your list and make it more effective. Today we will explore a case study from Marketing Sherpa.

Engaging Contest Keeps 80% of Original List Post CASL Compliance

Marketing Sherpa recently highlighted a case study on how nutrition company Vega dealt with getting into compliance for the new CASL regulations and was able to boost engagement and still keep 80% of their original email list. Vega is a Canadian based nutrition company, so CASL greatly affected their email program. Lee Ann Pughe is the digital marketing specialist, email and affiliates for the company and she saw the opportunity to use the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation changes to be able to meet a goal of providing educational content only to the people who wanted to receive it. She focused this email campaign to bring personalized educational information to customers and turn them into subscribers. The challenge was explaining to current email subscribers the value in confirming the desire to continue to receive emails but about educational information about the healthy food they sell, but without focusing on the products specifically. Another goal was to be able to connect their online and offline customers in one place.

Campaign Details

With the goal of maintaining a positive and inspirational community, the marketing team launched the “Fuel Your Better” campaign. The emails featured the requirements necessary to become CASL compliant and included personalized messaging to take special care with current subscribers. They launched a “Vega Love” contest in conjunction with the CASL compliance email campaign which was intended to bring engaging offers that would entice current subscribers to confirm.

Step 1: Engage Subscribers with Personalized Content

  • The first step was to connect brick-and-mortar stores across the US and Canada with the online world by polling shoppers to identify products that solve pain points for eating healthier.
  • The “Fuel Your Better” campaign was created to take on that role online.
  • “If they’re interested in just reading about the product, they can put together kind of a nutrition plan for themselves and what products would be good for them,” Pughe said.
  • Customers can either print off that plan immediately or be entered onto the Vega Sport email list to receive the personalized nutrition plan, she added.
  • They explained to subscribers that opting-in to the new series for the “Fuel Your Better” campaign also meant being subscribed to their general newsletter.
  • “Fuel Your Better” is a three-part series built up around eight fitness pain points:
  1. Motivation
  2. Stamina
  3. Overtraining
  4. Muscle burn
  5. Hitting a wall
  6. Fueling
  7. Muscle soreness
  8. Body composition

Step 2: Use Compelling Offers to Confirm Subscribers for CASL

  • The offer and email design all had to be executed alongside CASL compliance details and legalities.
  • Current subscribers were not acquired through a double opt-in process, so they needed confirm they still wanted to received email with CASL’s Opt-In policy vs. an Opt-Out once subscribed type of policy previously used by most companies.
  • The opt-in was made compelling with a contest for a spa getaway, a two year supply of Vega, and a Vitamix blender.
  • All contest entries were also given a coupon for 30% off, which is enticing because it is one of the largest discounts they ever offered.
  • They made the CASL intentions very clear rather than hiding its intentions behind a contest.
  • With any major change like this, stakeholders had to be informed of the worst possible outcome.

Step 3: Make CASL Confirmation as Simple as Possible

  • Consent had to be given at the same time that subscribers reconfirmed, but Pughe didn’t wanted to keep it more personal and not use an auto-responder.
  • Essentially, when a subscriber presses ‘Submit,’ the value of the check box is captured as consent, and the date and time stamp are captured from the server and put into the current ESP’s database, Pughe explained.
  • They put a permanent landing page in place and keep it current so that any returning subscribers can re-subscribe and they can stay in compliance.


Campaign Results

The campaign succeeded all expectation of how many subscribers would re-confirm. She retained 80% of the original subscribers on the list. On top of that, the sales conversion rate increased by 15%. That spike in conversions is largely due to the CASL campaign. The “Fuel Your Better” campaign doubled the previous average open rate at 66% and had a very high click through rate at 35%. If you need to get your company in compliance with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, turn that negative into a positive using this case study as an example of what you can do.