Are you suddenly being bombarded with companies sending you emails asking you if you will continue to get their emails? This is because the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) takes effect on July 1st. The thing is, rules about sending emails to customers has been with us in one form or another for a while. What’s different now is the mention of penalties.
There are three parts of the legislation that you must have as a requirement for sending out emails to customers.
- obtain user consent
- provide an unsubscribe mechanism and
- maintain accessible contact information (in other words, allow people the ability to change and alter their contact info)
The big difference now is the need for Express Intent. This means that the company must disclose why they want the information and for what company, and the user then can decide whether or not to give it. Up to now Implied consent was how marketers got their mailing lists. And you can be on a list because you bought something from that company in the last two years. Made an inquiry about a product or service in the last two years, and donated money to a charity in the last two years.
If you are a company that has a mailing list that you have grown over the last few years, by all means send a message to your users asking them to re-commit. But you can also point out in your next mailing that you only use their information for the purpose of the newsletters you send to them, and that they can unsubscribe at any time if they wish. Constant Contact (and I imagine the other big players like MailChimp) have some tools to send out confirmation messages to your mailing list if you want to confirm that you are complying with the new law.