If you send out any digital communications and haven’t heard of CASL or Can-Spam, STOP right now, and take a look at these specific resources. Be sure to forward these along to anyone who sends communications out.
CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation)
Now that the PSA is out of the way, let’s talk a bit about CASL (as I’m Canadian), and why it’s important that anyone doing digital marketing of any sort needs to be aware of it. I’m only going to go over a few high level points, so to dig deeper check out the two official sites I linked above.
Do you use email, SMS, social media or instant messaging to send commercial or promotional information about your organization to customers, prospects and other important audiences?
Here are the Big 3 rules for Commercial Electronic Messages. Keep in mind, CASL’s rules carries penalties of $1-10M per violation.
You must have a valid form of consent; either express consent or implied consent. I wrote an article on what I recommend, which is Express Consent with Double Opt-in.
Implied Consent – Existing Business Relationship, Existing non-business relationship (you are a registered charity, political party/candidate, a club, association or voluntary organization) and the recipient is one of your members. Implied consent is generally time limited to 2 years after the event that starts the relationship.
Express Consent – Consent given in writing or orally. The recipient gave you a positive or explicit indication of consent to receive commercial electronic messages.
Make sure you keep records of how you obtained consent, implied or express, as the onus is on you to prove consent.
You must include your mailing address. You must also include a phone number for accessing an agent or a voice messaging system, an email address, or a web address for you or the person on whose behalf you are sending the message.
You must provide an unsubscribe mechanism that is functional for 60 days from the time of your message.