Archive for July, 2015

Happy Birthday CASL

DATE: July 23rd, 2015

If you don’t know what CASL is, you haven’t been listening. Canada’s Anti-Spam Law celebrated its first birthday on July 1. And it’s been a busy year for the legislative bodies: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Competition Bureau. More than $31.2 million in fines have been handed to those who refused to listen.

Our take-away?

They’re serious! Canadians are interested as well and over 326,000 people have taken time out of their busy days to complain.

From a recent publication of the Canadian Marketing Association (July 2, 2015), here are the three requirements that must be met:

1. Consent must exist (either implied or express) to send the CEM.
2. The CEM in question must contain prescribed identification information.
3. The CEM must contain a functioning unsubscribe link.

Here’s a quick look at some things you may not know:

1. Implied and express consent continues to be a slippery slope. Implied consent means that your customer engages in a transaction with you every two years. Express consent is when a customer signs a form that gives you permission to contact them through email. You decide what you need to do.

2. The jury’s still out on when to sneak the little paper under the digital signature of your customer. Some say – just do it and get it over with. Others argue that you may miss your initial sale, so hold off a bit. Your marketing and communications team needs to make sure they are on top of customer performance.

3. Know that in any case you can email someone you have done business with for two years UNLESS (and this is significant) your customer has told you they do not want to hear from you. Which, of course, means that you have to give them an easy way to unsubscribe.

4. You can email someone for two years from the time of the most recent transaction. If they did not buy from you, you can email them for six months from the time they asked you about their business.

5. The actual word “relationship” is undefined – so it’s pretty open.

There are many websites, including the CRTC, that give more information. The bottom line? Take care to protect the privacy of business partners and customers. It matters.