Go-to-Market in Canada: Key Privacy Regulations to Consider

As your business expands into new markets, privacy considerations must be top of mind. Failing to understand the local laws raises the risk of infringing upon the rights and trust of your customers, not to mention the potential burden of substantial fines for non-compliance.  

Maintaining a compliant go-to-market strategy, on the other hand, can help your brand build customer trust and grow your revenue in a sustainable and scalable way.

Canada has its own set of privacy laws that impact how companies go to market. There are two regulations that are most relevant to B2B sales and marketing teams:

  1. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  2. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Here are some key factors to consider when crafting a compliant, responsible, scalable go-to-market strategy in Canada.


The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a privacy regulation that covers the use of personal information by private-sector organizations. 

PIPEDA exempts business contact information — such as an employee’s name, title, business address, telephone number or email address — that is collected, used or disclosed solely for the purpose of communicating with that person in relation to their employment or profession.

This means that, for the sending of commercial electronic messages in a B2B marketing context, PIPEDA does not apply. A general best practice is to maintain processes for honoring what are known as Data Subject Rights, particularly allowing individuals to opt out as they wish. Providing customers with transparency about your practices and control over their data can go a long way in building trust.


Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) regulates the sending of commercial electronic messages. These are defined as any electronic message intended to promote or elicit engagement in any commercial activity. This includes but is not limited to emails, text messages, and potentially even social media messages.

Requirements for Sending Commercial Electronic Messages

 CASL sets out four basic requirements for sending CEMs:

  • Consent: Businesses must obtain express or implied consent from recipients before sending CEMs.
  • Identification: CEMs must clearly identify the sender and provide contact information.
  • Unsubscribe mechanism: CEMs must include a clear and easy-to-use unsubscribe mechanism that allows recipients to opt out of future CEMs.
  • Content: CEMs must not be false or misleading.

This means if you wish to send commercial emails in Canada, consent is required. 

Consent under CASL is complex. Consent can be either explicit or implied, each with differing requirements:

  • Explicit consent: Express consent granted for the purpose of sending CEMs to a specific email address. 
  • Implied consent: Implied consent is in place where some previous relationship exists, but explicit consent hasn’t been granted. Examples of existing relationships include business relationships where the email recipient has:
    • Bought or leased a product, good, service, or land from the business owner in the past two years.
    • Been involved in a business, investment, or gaming opportunity with the business owner in the past two years.
    • Entered into a written or electronic contract with the business owner in the last two years.
    • Made an inquiry about products, goods, services, or land in the past six months.
    • Made an inquiry about or submitted an application for a business, investment, or gaming opportunity in the past six months.

What Does an Effective GTM Strategy Look Like in Canada? 

To ensure a successful go-to-market (GTM) strategy in Canada, it is crucial to adopt a multifaceted approach. Relying solely on a single-channel approach severely hampers the effectiveness of your outreach efforts. Here are some key channels our customers consider when going to marketing in Canada:


As CASL does not govern B2B telemarketing, this becomes a viable route for outreach in Canada. ZoomInfo’s wide range of direct dials and mobile phone numbers are a key asset for these programs.

Businesses can use telemarketing as a channel to generate consent for email marketing in line with CASL, converting the prospect to an inbound, consent-based contact. With ZoomInfo, revenue professionals can send emails, make calls, and track call activity within the platform. ZoomInfo also keeps unsubscribes simple, helping you meet the requirements of CASL. 

Canada’s National Do Not Call List (NDCL) is a centrally held opt-out list for telemarketing in Canada. Although registration to this list is consumer-focused, ZoomInfo can screen directly against the NDCL within its platform, suppressing any contacts who have opted out. This feature can be enabled in the admin portal. 


Using ZoomInfo data such as intent signals can help you build an audience list for sales and marketing teams to target. Intent data is a great way to create a list of customers who are showing interest in your products. With ZoomInfo Marketing, you can automatically launch display and social ad campaigns based on customers with high intent.

Inbound Marketing

Cold marketing in Canada differs from other parts of the world in terms of expectations and attitudes. Many ZoomInfo customers see great success pivoting to a more inbound-focused sales and marketing motion across Canada.

Driving traffic to your website via helpful content, event marketing, and other non-broadcast channels can create more inbound traffic. Using ZoomInfo’s product suite, including FormComplete, can lead to more conversions from your web traffic by simplifying the user experience. 

Get Started Today

Expanding your GTM strategy into a new region can be complicated, depending on the local privacy regulations and laws. Rather than run the risk of penalties and fines, it’s important to understand how to adjust your strategy in each new region. Here are some helpful resources we recommend checking out specifically for conducting business in Canada:

Note: The above article is for informational purposes only. ZoomInfo is not qualified to provide legal advice of any kind, and is not an authority on the interpretation of US or international laws, rules, or regulations. To understand how the GDPR, EU marketing laws, or any other laws impact you or your business, you should seek independent advice from qualified legal counsel.