Providing an opt-in mechanism

You can enable an opt-in mechanism so that contacts can expressly provide their consent to receive emails from your organization. This is a key component in complying with anti-spam legislation, particularly the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL). Penalties for non-compliance come into force on July 1, 2017, with a maximum penalty of $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses.

With the opt-in mechanism enabled, you can send consent request emails to your contacts, then track their opt-in status from each contact’s Email settings and log tab.

In the future, following a later release, enabling the opt-in mechanism will also result in a checkbox requesting consent being added to all forms that prompt new contacts to enter an email address.

What does opting in mean?

Opting in means the contact has given their consent to receive emails from your organization. They can still pick and choose the kind of messages they want to receive.

Opting out means the contact has specifically denied their consent to receive emails from your organization. They will still receive confirmation emails in response to specific actions on their part, such as membership renewal notices or event registration confirmations, but they will not receive event announcements and other email blasts.

Enabling the opt-in mechanism

To enable the opt-in mechanism, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Organization option under the Dashboard menu.
  2. On the Organization details screen that appears, check the Enable opt-in option.
  3. Click the Save button to save your changes.
If you disable the opt-in mechanism after previously enabling it, you cannot re-enable it without resetting your contact's previous consent choices to Undefined. A record of previous consent choices for your contacts can be obtained from Wild Apricot support.

Viewing and modifying the opt-in status

When you enable the opt-in mechanism, the opt-in status of each contact is added to the Email settings and log tab in their contact record.

When you modify the contact's email preferences, you can set the status to Opted in, Opted out, or Undefined.

Initially, the status for all contacts will be set to Undefined, meaning that the contact hasn't chosen whether to opt in or opt out of receiving emails.

You can also update the opt-in status of contacts in bulk through importing. Within your import spreadsheet, set the Opt in column value to Yes, No, or leave blank for Undefined.

Updating the opt-in status by contacts

Contacts can update their opt-in status themselves from their member profile. The opt-in setting appears on the Email subscriptions tab.

To change the setting, the contact clicks the Edit profile button and makes their choice.

If a contact agrees to receive emails from your organization, they can then choose the specific types of messages they want to receive. They can separately choose whether they wish to receive event announcements and manual email blasts.

Searching for contacts by consent status

You can search for contacts by consent status from the Advanced search page within both the Contacts and Members modules. To search for contacts by consent status, add the Email opt-in search criteria.

You can search for contacts who have opted in, opted out, or haven't made a choice.

Sending a consent request email

You can send an email blast to contacts with an Undefined opt-in status, asking them to update their email preferences if they want to continue to receive messages from your organization.

Your email should include a link to the {Member_Profile_Url} macro that allows contacts to update their member profile.

Two new email templates have been added to help you communicate to your contacts about opting in: one that specifically addresses CASL, and one for generic opt-in requests.

Both email templates include the {Member_Profile_Url} macro.

You can use these templates as is, or duplicate and modify them.


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