If Your Business Sends Out Email, You Need to Pay Attention to Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law

This is one of those times when we 100% believe all businesses need to read this blog post. We know your first reaction will be to pound your fists in the air and say “I don’t have time for this” but the fact of the matter is, it’s in your business’s best interest to ensure you are in compliance with this new legislation.

Is Your Business CASL Compliant? What You Need to Do Before July 1, 2014

 

Overview of New Anti-Spam Legislation

Canada’s new anti-spam Legislation is a new law meant to crack down on unwanted e-mail and texts, and it will apply to companies and organizations worldwide.

Businesses selling or promoting products or services will need to prove they have consent to reach out to new, existing and potential customers using electronic messages.

Businesses will want to comply with the new legislation as penalties for violations can go up as high as $1-million for an individual and up to $10-million for companies. As of July 1, 2017, there will also be a private right of action, meaning people will be able to start taking legal action against anyone not following the rules. The big concern for businesses is the possibility of class-action lawsuits.

How can a business get consent? You will want to read up on the new legislation and consult a lawyer.

GetOn Marketing Inc. has compiled some tips to help you get started:

Getting consent can be done by written or oral means. If companies wish to do it electronically, by email for example, they need to email clients and customers by July 1, 2014 and have them opt-in. This should include having the customer check a box that says they are willing to receive electronic communications. After July 1, this process will be considered an offence. Consent needs to be tracked and documented.

After July 1, businesses will need to obtain consent through other means, such as a telephone call or regular postal mail. Again, it will need to be tracked and documented. 

What Should Your Business Do to Ensure Electronic Messages Are CASL Compliant?

 

  1. Internal Awareness – ensure all employees are aware of this new legislation. Share this blog post with your staff.

  2. Identify Key Employees – which employees in your business need to ensure CASL compliance. Identify what will they need to do to ensure CASL compliance.

  3. Assess Your Business

  • Online data capture (mailing list sign up forms, landing page forms, lead generation forms etc.)

  • Offline data capture (phone leads, business cards, trade show leads etc)

  • Existing mailing lists

  • CRM databases

  • Current triggered emails (welcome emails, confirmation emails etc.)

  • Email campaigns

  • Current manual emails

 4. Assess Current Databases – Industry Canada has clearly stated express consent that is compliant with PIPEDA will also be compliant with CASL; however, the interpretation can be confusing. Businesses wishing to be extra cautious will treat everyone in their database as though they have not given express content.

5. Reconfirm Consent – “Click here to confirm your interest in receiving our emails” or “Check this box to confirm receiving our emails” are both standard phrases that can be used to confirm a contact within your database. Either dedicate an email to compliance, or embed the compliance confirmation within another email. The main importance is to do this before July 2014.

6. Purge non-compliant subscribers before July 2014.

7. Document Your Efforts – Take the time to document everything you have done to ensure your communication is CASL compliant.

 

GetOn.com can review your website forms and newsletters to ensure they comply with the new legislation. Please contact us for more information.

 

GetOn Marketing Inc. is pleased to provide tips on how to gain consent in order to send out electronic communications. We are in no way legal experts on the issue and cannot be held liable for our tips. Please consult your lawyer for definitive measures to ensure you are in compliance.  

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