A hot topic among many Canadians is the recently announced email marketing laws known as Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL), which will be implemented on Tuesday, July the 1st, 2014. We initially discussed these strict anti-spam policies in our previous article, and with the CASL being enforced very soon, it’s crucial that everyone learns about these new rules. However, it’s just as important to know about how you can successfully comply with these new email marketing laws- especially if you’re a business owner. One of these new rules that will have a huge impact on many businesses is the following:
- Unless they have consent from the recipient, businesses can no longer send commercial electronic communications (including emails, text messages, and social networking messages)
At this time, we’re going to look at some of the ways that you can successfully comply with the CASL and get consent from those that you’re doing business with- after all, you’ll need it if you want to continue sending them emails.
How To Successfully Comply With The New Email Marketing Laws Starting July 1st: Getting Consent
With time running out, you need to get the proper consent from those on your email lists as soon as possible. First of all, it’s important to remember that there are two types of consent that are defined by the law: implied consent, and express consent. We’ve listed some of the ways that you can effectively get consent from those that you’re doing business with to comply with the CASL below:
- When someone has purchased a product or service, or is a part of a business deal, contract, or membership with your company within the past 24 months.
- If you’re a political organization or a registered charity, and the contact has given a donation or gift, attended a meeting organized by your company, or has volunteered.
- When you send a professional message to a contact whose email address was given to you, or is clearly published, and they haven’t told you that they don’t want unsolicited messages.
If any of your contacts don’t meet any of these criteria, then you will need express consent before you can send them any email campaigns. In order to get express consent from your contacts, you need to send over a written or oral request for them to agree to receive specific varieties of messages from you, such as newsletters or discount notifications. You can ask for express consent from your contacts only if you provide your contacts with the following information:
- A clear, honest description of your purpose in obtaining their consent.
- A description of the types of messages that you’ll be sending them.
- A statement that the recipient of your messages may unsubscribe from your emails at any time.
- The name and contact information (including the physical mailing address, telephone number, email address, and/or website URL) of you or the client that’s requesting consent.
Some of the ways that you can effectively request consent from contacts by using your website includes having a checkable box (along with a clear outline of what they’re agreeing to receive,) or a field where they can enter their email address to indicate their consent- to learn more about these, click here. After getting the appropriate form of consent from your contacts, you also need to follow these rules to fully abide by the CASL:
- You need to retain a record of all your consent confirmations.
- When requesting consent, you cannot pre-fill checkboxes to suggest consent. Consent can only be valid if the contact checks the box themselves.
- All of your sent messages to contacts need to include your name (or the person on whose behalf you are sending the messages,) and your physical mailing address, along with your telephone number, email address, and/or website URL.
- All email messages sent after you receive consent need to include an easy to find unsubscribe mechanism. They also need to be processed within 10 days.
We recommend that you put a fair amount of your resources into asking your clients for their consent as soon as possible, since any consent requests sent after July 1, 2014 will technically be breaking CASL law. If you would like to learn even more about implied and express consent, you can check out the CRTC’s detailed FAQ by clicking here. Mailchimp has actually posted a very informative guide that can help their users effectively comply with the CASL– click here to read it.