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What is the difference between Implied & Express Permission?

CTCT Employee

Since CASL regulations have been implemented (starting in July of 2014) we have been getting many questions about types of permission, so let’s go over what they are:


  • Express – With this type of permission your contacts have given you their explicit permission to send them emails. This is often done through Sign Up Forms (online and paper) or by getting this permission if you currently have implied permission. It is a best practice to let your audience know what they are signing up for and how often they will get emails. Also you need to include company information (address, phone, etc.) and your name or department. 

  • Implied - This indicated that you have a relationship with the contact but do not have their express permission.  The relationship could be that they have purchased from you, volunteered or made a donation.   The key to this type of permission is that they did not give you direct permission to email them. 


For more information on Express or Implied permission and how this relates to CASL specifically, take a look here.  For more information on CASL  take a look here or here for resources.  If you have questions about CASL legislation, we have a team that has been trained on this that can help you, they can be reached here


Former Community Manager at Constant Contact.

All Star

A member within our HOA moved away and forgot to unsubscribe to the community E-Newsletter, so he complained to the front office about it. I informed him that managing members' contact information as changes occur is the responsibility of the members themselves (we only maintain the community property; members sign up and unsubscribe to the E-Newsletter at their own discretion, and the Association only steps in to add or delete members in the event that the members are experiencing technical difficulties while attempting to do so themselves, so the list is self-managed) and reminded him that he could unsubscribe himself at any time, sending him our generic email form showing him how so I could get on with the actual requirements of my job.

I checked back a few weeks later to see if he was still in our Contacts tab, and saw his setting had turned into "Implied Permission."

I'm still a little confused about what this means--If I send out the monthly E-Newsletter to our current list of signed-up contacts--of which he is/was(?) one--will he receive it (and find cause to bombard me with another angry email) with this "Implied Permission" status or not? I thought that if a member unsubscribes it means they're actually deleted from the system, not set to a different 'permission status.' Anyway, any help would be appreciated.



Hi @SunCoveOffice


I apologize for any confusion there may be with your contact! If your contact is set as Implied Permission they will continue to receive your emails. Implied Permission refers to how you collected your contact’s information. So for instance if your contacts sign up through a Sign Up Form that is considered express permission, while if it’s a former customer that’s considered implied. The good news is we do offer the ability to mark a contact as unsubscribed through your account. Once a contact is unsubscribed they will be removed from your list and not set to a different permission status. I hope this helps!