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Posts Tagged ‘CAN-SPAM’

3 Steps to Conquering CASL: An interview from Email Summit 2015

February 19th, 2016
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As we’re in the final days before MarketingSherpa Summit 2016, we thought it would be fitting to share the last Media Center interview from last year, covering a timely topic marketers were concerned about — Canada’s Anti-Spam Law.

With fines of up to $10 million per violation, Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is among the world’s strictest anti-spam legislation and, naturally, it got attention. As a result, it’s too easy for marketers to feel overwhelmed by the new regulations, Shaun Brown, Partner, nNovation (an Ottawa-based law firm), said.

 

He discussed CASL with Courtney Eckerle, Managing Editor, MarketingSherpa, at Email Summit 2015.

“There are potentially huge penalties under the legislation. Every law firm is publishing information. You have bloggers, email marketers … everybody is talking about CASL. But not everything out there is necessarily factually correct,” he said. “And even then, we can’t always claim to know exactly how the law is going to apply in every circumstance.”

Consequently, some marketers have embraced CASL compliance. Others, not so much.

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Email Deliverability: 9 lessons about Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

July 25th, 2014
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CASL.

You might think the “C” stands for confusion, or perhaps concern, at least on the part of marketers.

canada-anti-spam-legislationThose letters stand for the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. This law applies not only to Canadian companies, but email marketers anywhere in the world sending messages to Canadian subscribers.

Since this is probably the strictest spam law ever, marketers are growing concerned. Because marketers aren’t lawyers, many are also confused about what they actually have to do.

I’ve spent the past few weeks gleaning insights from experts in the field, and here’s what I’ve learned so far.

 

Lesson #1. A blog post is not a legal opinion

Some marketers have been reading blog posts and other content to try to understand what they must do to comply with CASL.

No piece of content can replace legal advice, including this blog post. If you think there is legitimate exposure for your company, the best thing to do is get legal advice.

CASL is a law, not just an industry best practice or a good idea. If your company breaks the law, it can be legally liable and punished. As with any law, ignorance is not a legal defense.

According to FightSpam.ca, “Penalties for the most serious violations of the Act can go as high as $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is chartered with enforcing the act.

That said, I’ve included some related reading at the end of this blog post in the “You may also like” section to help you dive deeper into this complex regulation.

Lawyers aren’t the only place you can get some help.

“Become informed and stay on top of it. If you are using an ESP and they are providing any sort of CASL assistance, take advantage of it,” suggested James Koons, Chief Privacy Officer, Listrak.

 

Lesson #2. Don’t overreact

Trusting any blog post or other content at this point is especially fraught because, while CASL is law, interpretation and enforcement of the law is still ongoing. It’s still all very new.

“I think you have to use some common sense.”

That’s what Shaun Brown, a lawyer and partner at nNovation LLP, a Canadian law firm, advised when I spoke with him about CASL. Shaun also went on to say:

Fortunately, the government decided to delay the private right of action, because the private right of action is a whole other ballgame. It creates incentives for lawyers to find technical violations. The CRTC, we have to assume and I do believe that they’re going to be reasonable and it’s not their goal to try and catch legitimate businesses in technical violations or in a gray area and to really try to punish them. I think it’s going to be their goal to try and reduce some of the worst practices we see out there.

So where there are a lot of gray areas, I don’t want to see people being scared to use email marketing because of these gray areas and lack of certainty. We do have to have a little bit of faith and assume that the CRTC is going to be reasonable on some of these issues.

 

Lesson #3. Keep doing the basics

There are a few basics in how you send your emails that you should be doing anyway, thanks to CAN-SPAM and being a savvy, successful and ethical marketer who cares about deliverability.

I say should, because last time we surveyed marketers about their email practices, only 62% provided an easy unsubscribe process – as the rest simply beg recipients to hit the “SPAM” button and cause major deliverability problems.

Does your email template (perhaps in the footer) include:

  • The ability to unsubscribe?
  • Your company’s physical address?
  • An email address, telephone number or Web address?

 

Lesson #4. Understand the two types of consent

Implied consent and express consent.

Implied consent tends to be when you’ve had a business relationship with recipients in the past, like a purchase or donation.

Express consent is when they specifically opt-in to your list. It’s a good idea to check your opt-in forms and make sure you are now getting express consent.

“Make sure you put expiration processes in place to remove subscribers that you are unable to get express consent from, or when the time limit for implied consent runs out. Basically, you should have a solid, auditable process in place that shows your CASL compliance in the event of an enforcement action,” James said.

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Email Marketing: Avoid the pitfalls of a direct-mail mindset

February 7th, 2012
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New technology is always bewildering. We get a newfangled tool. We play with it. We relate it to other stuff. We try to understand it.

The problem is that new technology is new. You can relate it to older stuff at first, but you have to move on. Thinking about it in old ways can hold you back.

Take email marketing, for example. Companies used it as a digital form of direct mail for years. We now know email is not direct mail, but some companies continue reliving the past. Here are a few examples:

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