(The thoughts and ideas included in this article are based on my own personal interpretation of CASL and are not intended to provide advice. Discussion is encouraged on these ideas.)
CASL will affect every business in Canada. If you send an email – you had better know the implications of the Canadian Anti-Spam Laws.
CASL not only affects email – it involves all Commercial Electronic Messages (CEM). This includes text messages and instant messenger messages in various formats.
If you currently send out any messages relating to your business then you need to start by evaluating every contact in your system. You need to determine if you have consent to send them business related messages. CEM’s cannot be sent after July 1, 2014 to any one if you do not have consent (either implied or expressed consent) unless they are exempt – and the exemption list is very small.
Existing clients get what is called implied consent – but only for two years from the date of the last transaction.
Existing prospects are exempt for three years under the expressed consent – but only if you have documented records that they initially consented to receive your commercial messages.
Very few organizations have good records for their past clients and prospects. Very few email systems recorded the correct data that will convert into expressed consent in the new system.
So in the next four months it is imperative that you attempt to get expressed consent from everyone that you want to continue building a sales relationship with.
You should start communicating right away – re-building the relationship you have had in the past, discussing with them the value of your messages.
Then you should be asking them to give you expressed consent in order to continue receiving your high quality messages.
Two factors are vital in this process. The quality of the messages you send them, and the relationship you are building with them.
No longer can you send offer after offer to your list. You need to increase the quality of information and also use language that builds the relationship. Find ways to increase engagement, get feedback, build trust.
Then you can ask for expressed consent in the correct manner according to the CASL guidelines.
Start today – as you only have four months until the new CASL regulations take effect.