A year after the implementation of Canada's Anti-spam Legislation (CASL), few fines issued, but many feel an impact has been made and email marketing still works.
July 1st, 2014 marked the start of Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL). We were inundated with calls on what to do with business' email marketing lists, how to handle the new legislation, who to send to, who not to - what does it all mean? Some small business panicked and stopped all email marketing efforts, while others analyzed their lists, made change and moved forward.
The average email inbox was filled with - 'due to CASL, please reconfirm your interest in receiving my CEM' messages - many ignored, or simply deleted as people were overwhelmed by requests.
Did CASL help to deter spammers?
- We can say our inbox isn't quite as full with spam, however it still takes me 10 minutes everyday to dump the spam from my inbox - to the tune of 100s of emails a day (I have quite a few email addresses however).
- I do receive many more CEMs with a permission reminder at the top of the message telling me why I am receiving the information.
- I have not seen a reduction in the number of 'unsubscribe' buttons that do not work.
- My inbox now contains more of the messages I do want.
CyberImpact reported the following statistics in a recent article:
- 62% believe the CRTC failed to adequately inform SMEs
- 10% have stopped sending CEMs
- 30% have paired down their distribution lists
- 39% say CASL has hampered their promotional efforts
- 48% say CASL has impeded their efforts to compete with their U.S. counterparts
Our client stats in comparison:
- 85% said they were adequately informed of the implications of CASL (through our office and Constant Contact)
- 1% stopped sending CEMs
- 58% paired down their distribution lists
- 38% said CASL hampered their promotional efforts (but only during the transition and learning curve)
Given I am Constant Contact Certified Solution provider, (leading, award-winning email marketing and marketing tool platform for SMBs) I have continued working with SMEs to deliver CEMs with CASL having little impact on their effectiveness. Constant Contact delivered seminar after seminar for a year leading up to the implementation of CASL to teach SMEs how to be CASL compliant. Those businesses who took the time to learn what the legislation would mean to their business are continuing with strong communications through email marketing.
What our clients have found since CASL:
- they have better engagement with their distribution list after cleaning it up to those 'subscribed' or having a 'pre-existing relationship' - meaning higher open rates and click-thrus, lower bounce rate and 'did not opens'.
- a stronger understanding of how to get people interested in subscribing to their list -how to get people to 'want' their communications
- a better strategy for communications and the content they share through email
After the initial panic, our clients are more comfortable with CASL and have adapted well to working within the parameters for effective marketing and communications. As with anything it is all about understanding and adapting. While, CASL did create extra work for those serious about their email communications, it has paid off in the long run thus far.