One week after the new Canadian Anti-spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect, our phone is ringing off the hook.
It is all the people who knew CASL was coming but did nothing about it -- and a few who must have been in a cave -- they are just finding out about it now. So they are calling to find out what they need to do.
Is my list in jeopardy? Can I still send emails to that list? Can I email prospects? How do I comply? My database is useless - now what? Does CASL apply to not-for-profits. I need help where do I go?
Well first, let us tell you, there is help available - call us. We like our phone ringing off the hook.
Here's a few things you should know:
You have two years before enforcement really begins, that being said -- the CRTC received over 1000 complaints of spam in the first week since the legislation has been available according to an article in Marketing Magazine.
We have a few ways to help get your list in compliance - the main thing is get 'express' permission and document how you received that 'express' permission, especially if it is verbal permission. On the person's business card write the date of when permission was given and file the card. Keep a file for email permissions on the go at all time. Remember if people have not opted-in electronically or in a manner that you can easily prove they subscribed to your emails, it is considered 'implied' permission. Implied permission expires - 'express' permission does not. You can send to a person with 'express' permission until such time as they opt-out/unsubscribe.
The logistics of manually managing opt-ins and unsubscribes, express versus implied and established relationships versus non is unthinkable -- unless you are using a system that can handle most of this for you. We choose to use Constant Contact and their marketing Toolkit. It makes managing your database easy, not to mention you can track what your list is doing with the emails you send them. There are other systems available on the market, but we have yet to find one that is as dedicated to small business as Constant Contact. They spent a great deal of time and money adapting their system to accommodate the new Canadian anti-spam legislation - just for their customers in Canada. The Canadian market is extremely important to Constant Contact.
Further - many do not realize CASL applies to individual emails you send through Outlook, or your gmail, or hotmail account as well. This legislation is not directed solely to the business or organization using email marketing to send bulk emails - it applies to every email you send.
So, make our phones ring! Call us to find out how we can help you comply!
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