Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stiffer Rules Around Spam

Are you ready for the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Bill C28 which will be enforced later this year? This law requires express consent for most commercial-related messages. It also requires that you inform consumers about how personal identifiable information such as an email address will be used.

And ignore the law at your peril, because the fines are steep, with a potential penalty of $1 million for individuals and $10 million per business per day. With C-28, the burden of proof is on the sender and marketers must clearly inform consumers about what exactly they are opting in to and you need to articulate your privacy policies.

Here are a few steps you can take now to get ready for when the law is enforced.

  • Outsource your direct e-mail marketing efforts to a reputable e-mail sending service like Constant Contact
  • Clean up your mailing lists.
  • Get consent from people now.
  • Avoid renting or buying lists.
  • Adopt e-mail best practices based on permission-based marketing.
  • Have an opt-out option on your e-mail marketing

A word of caution, picking up a business card from a display at an event, and then adding the person to your email list, does not constitute permission-based marketing. If the person handed you the card, maybe, but if they don’t remember you, never met you at the actual event, you run the risk of your email being considered spam and that could be a costly error on your part.

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