(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.)
The new Canadian Anti-Spam Law has definitely changed the way any organization in Canada can approach using email not only as a marketing tool – but even a communication tool in the sales process.
Take for instance this scenario:
A sales person meets a new prospect at a trade show on July 15, 2014. For this example let us say this is related to financial services. They have a good discussion about some various options and products. The individual is genuinely interested and asks the sales person to send him the product related information that they were discussing.
The sales person heads back to the office and the next day sends a PDF via email containing the product information.
The prospect gets the email and replies thanks and that he will look it over. The sales person continues the conversation either via email or even via a return call – but the prospect states that they are not going to do anything until RRSP time in February or March.
A month later the sales person sends another email (either personal or possibly a newsletter) to the prospect. The client replies thanks for the email.
The sales person, diligently working on building the relationship sends out an invite in November to a Christmas party. Again the prospect declines. Another email goes out to the new prospect in December wishing them a Merry Christmas – to which the prospect replies back with a return Merry Christmas – maybe even a few words about their plans over the holidays.
Now February rolls around and the sales person sees in the CRM notes that the client may be interested in the product that he sent out information back in July. So on February 15 he sends an email including the product information.
BANG – the sales person has just fired the Spam Gun! Six months have passed and now that original request for product information is over. This sales person may be liable for fines up to a million dollars. And the firm that employs him may be fined a whopping TEN MILLION DOLLARS. As well – after 2017 – there may be cause for a class action law suit against them.
The CASL is definitely going to change how not only marketing – but sales will be done here in Canada.
The above is only one scenario related to the effect of CASL on using email as a sales tool.
Are you ready for this new law? Is your firm ready? It comes into effect July 1, 2014.