A comprehensive answer to "what specific actions do I need to take to be compliant with my Canadian email marketing".
There is a new law in Canadian email-land. Like it or not, CASL is here to stay.
Organizations will comply, or they won’t. The consequences of non-compliance start with fines. Up to $10,000,000 - to be determined by the CRTC. On July 1, 2017 the private right to action comes into affect, which opens the organization to class action lawsuits by everyone they send an “illegal” message to.
This comprehensive guide for marketers looking to email Canadians clearly states what the list owner and emailer must do to comply with this new law. While not complex, it is clearly designed to return ownership of the individual's email inbox to that individual.
CASL Compliance - the Cornerstones:
No permission. No email. Ask for permission before you email an individual. Asking for individual permission to send them emails is a simple copy change to all email opt-in mechanisms that your organization uses. 80% of the email collection forms we see today are not CASL compliant.
Prove it - Upon request, the list owner must prove when and where permission was provided. This, in the author's opinion, is the tough part. A data base system that tracks data in real time must be designed and implemented and was not required under the previous legisation.
Type of message - Only send emails that correlate with your original promise.
Be Transparent. Include contact details and an unsubscribe in every email you send. Sending CASL compliant emails is once again, very simple. Identify the organization, mailing address and a contact name with 2 ways to contact them (can be a link) and always include an easy to use unsubscribe mechanism.
Don’t lend your list - email your lists on behalf of your partners. While it is not against the law, it is too difficult to manage changes to the list from all sources. Reduce your risk by keeping firm control of your email lists. If you must send emails for strategic partners, we recommend sending the message from you (the owner of the list) ON BEHALF of your partner.
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About the Author:
Derek A. Lackey is the President of the Direct Marketing Association of Canada leading the organization's move to integrate traditional and digital direct response solutions. DMAC provides education, best practices, advocacy and networking opportunities for all direct marketers in Canada.
Derek is also the CEO of e10 - an integrated advertising agency with digital chops not usually associated with a full service agency.