On July 1st Canada's new anti-spam legislation arrived with great fanfare and was met with dread from the digital marketing community. It has been four months since the new rules came into effect and there are still many marketers struggling to understand the implications for their marketing lists. If you haven't already done so, now is the time for a review of your organization's marketing processes to ensure that you are set up for CASL compliance success *.
What Is CASL And How Does It Affect My Marketing?
Canada's new anti-spam legislation requires all Canadian and International businesses sending CEMs (commercial electronic messages) in Canada (including emails, text messages, instant messages, social media messages, automated phone messages...) to:
Attention US/International Marketers: If you were under the impression this legislation only applies to Canadian companies you are mistaken. All businesses sending CEM's to individuals in Canada are subject to the new rules.
Embed this infographic:
Copy and paste the code below where you want it to appear.
Post on web sites:
Post on a forum:
Step 1: Assess Your Marketing Activities
Take a look at your current and past marketing campaigns and how you interact and sell to incoming, currently active and past leads. For each marketing activity, make careful note of how you capture/captured the data and what you communicate/communicated.
Essentially anything that creates a marketable list
Step 2: Update your current forms and templates to comply with the new rules
Make sure you are including an unchecked opt-in box and a clear consent statement on all forms.
Step 3: Look Closely At Your Lead/Marketing Database And Review Each Record
Step 4: Determine What Type Of Consent Your Contacts Have Provided
Group A: Current customers, previous customers, industry associations with members, partnerships, other types of business agreements or prospects who downloaded content in exchange for an email address.
Group B: Prospects who asked for quotes/information via an online form, phone inquiries, provided you with a business card or interacted with you at a tradeshow.
Unknown/other/ 3Rd Party Without Consent
Step 5: How Am I Supposed To Keep Track Of All This?
Keeping your data well organized is the key to success. Separate your existing contact base into manageable groups.
o Group A as defined above. Prospects can remain in this list for up to 24 months.
o Group B as defined above. Prospects can remain in this list for up to 6 months.
o When a new contact is added to your contact database, set up a series of automated workflows to add them to the appropriate CASL consent list.
o As prospects provide Express Consent, they can be automatically moved from one list to another.
o On a monthly basis, you can use the date added field to identify the Implied Consent prospects that need to be removed from your database at the 6-month and 2-year expiration mark.
But What If All My Recipients Are Non-Canadian?
If you are in Canada and sending CEMs to a foreign state you don't have to abide by CASL, but you do need to follow anti-spam and privacy laws specific to that foreign state. These contacts can be retained in a separate list.
* DISCLAIMER: This is a new legislation and we are not lawyers. While we have made every reasonable effort to ensure the information we provide is accurate, it should not be relied on as legal advice and is in no way meant to replace specific legal advice from your lawyer.