Oh boy, new spam laws! It may not seem like a thrilling topic but in order to do successful marketing you absolutely have to know what you can and can't do. The Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) comes into effect July 1, 2014. Don't be worried about these new laws. The regulations just make clear what good marketers are already doing. It is, however, important to be familiar with the laws.
To learn more, sign up for our free interactive CASL webinar. To adhere to the new regulations, there are three basic rules to follow when sending messages to your customers:
1. You must have your customers' consent to send them messages. There are no exceptions. If you don't have consent, don't send the messages. The consent must be obtained through a basic opt-in mechanism, meaning that the customer must actually take an action (such as clicking an opt-in link) in order to subscribe. Read more about how to obtain customer permission here.
2. You must identify your company or yourself as the sender. Your customers need to know who the message is being sent from. This makes customers more likely to open your emails anyway, as they will come to recognize the name.
3. You must provide a simple way for customers to unsubscribe in every message you send. If a customer wants to opt out of receiving your messages, make it easy for them so they don't become frustrated and report you as a spammer.
As you can see, these regulations are already best practices that any good marketer will know. They will benefit your company's reputation and your customers' satisfaction. The anti-spam laws apply to any type of electronic communication such as email, text messages, social media and so on.
As a best practice, you should also adhere to these rules when sending messages offline, such as voicemail or fax. These regulations will ensure that your customers don't get irritated with your messages or don't simply ignore them.
In addition, the regulations prohibit spam practices and are common sense for legitimate companies.
- Don't install any software onto someone's device if you do not have their consent.
- Don't mislead your customers about your products and services or provide false information.
- Don't collect customers' personal data without their permission, such as by accessing their personal device.
- Don't buy or harvest email addresses, phone or SMS numbers or personal information!
Don't forget: these are Canadian Anti-Spam Laws. You must also research the regulations and best practices of any countries to which you are sending your messages. To learn more, sign up for our free interactive CASL webinar.