The anti-spam law is now in effect.
For those of you who don’t know what that is- visit: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm
Last week I attended a CASL seminar to learn the ins and outs of this new law and how it would affect not only my business, but my clients businesses as well. I wanted to share some important facts that I learned but do recommend that you attend a seminar yourself!
What I learned in a nutshell (and in no particular order):
- July 1st the anti-spam law comes into affect BUT it is only the first phase. We have a 2-3 year grace period to get all of our ducks in a row. For all of you starting to sweat about not sending out your “opt in” emails? Don’t fret. The speaker actually suggested sending them in January 2015 once this rush of emails passes.
- You can still send initial emails to people that you do not know. You can still send initial emails to businesses you don’t know- as long as your business can obviously/directly relate to or assist the company that you are contacting. You need to be able to align business opportunity. YOU DO however have to have all of your contact information in your email should the person you are contacting not want to receive any more messages from you. The only time you cannot grab contact information online and send a message is if there is a disclaimer on their site asking you not to.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: YOU CAN still send messages via social media. YOU CAN still message people on linked in, twitter, facebook and talk business as long as you are connected. What you cannot do, is take their information and add it into your email messaging software without their consent. Social media messages are implied consent because the individual has accepted your invitation to connect, liked you or is following you. The unsubscribe option can be easily exercised with a click of a button (un-follow, un-like)
- TRADESHOWS: Your business card fishbowl is not dead. You can still collect people’s cards and information at a tradeshow as long as you are clear in your description on your fishbowl as to what the people will receive if they drop their card in. You can’t be sneaky with a sign like “drop your card in and win a trip”. YOU CAN write “drop your card in to join our mailing list for a possibility to win a trip”. OH and If you have a pile of ballots lying around with a little box that says “click here to receive information”? Those are no longer valid and you need to re-obtain consent.
- Track your opt ins. Be sure that you can prove people opted in to receive your electronic emails. Software systems make this easy- keep an electronic file on hand just in case.
- THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: Registered Charities (not not-for-profits) and political parties are not included in CASL’s rules. They are the exception as long as the emails are about fundraising or campaigns. If a Registered Charity’s email is strictly fundraising? They can email anyone they want.
- If you have emailed anyone back and forth in the last two years- you are allowed to email them. You have a relationship with them and that is not considered spam under CASL rules.
- Your email marketing HAS to have an ‘unsubscribe’ option. If you don’t use a software program (constant contact, go-daddy etc.)- Then you need to make it painfully clear that the person you are emailing can opt out of your emails at any given time.
9. Verbal consent does apply to CASL. If you meet someone and they tell you to shoot them an email don’t be afraid..
10. Do you advertise your mailing list on your website? You still can BUT you have to be clear on exactly what they will be receiving. A newsletter containing what type of information? How frequently?
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar and would love for any of you to chime in! I have my notes but am sure I am missing a few great points. Please comment below.