25 Sep Best Practices for E-newsletters & New Canadian Anti-spam Law
Perhaps you’ve heard rumblings of the new Canadian Anti-Spam law that went into effect July 1, 2014 and you’re wondering what you need to do—if anything as a yarn company or yarn shop that sends out e-newsletters to Canadian recipients. Since we deal with this all the time at Stitchcraft Marketing, we thought a quick primer might be helpful:
If you’re already using best practices to send your e-newsletter with expressed consent, then this law won’t change much. Basically, the new CASL regulations set forth a bit more restrictive rules for sending email, texts and social media communications to Canadians. The most important clause is that your customers need to OPT IN to your newsletters and you need to keep track of that permission.
The law is in place now, but marketers have a 3 year grace period before penalties apply. Now is the time to clean up your protocols if you don’t already comply. After this deadline, you will need to show EXPRESS CONSENT for your outbound emails. Even though this is for your Canadian recipients, you might as well implement this for your American ones too as that law is probably not far behind!
What is Express Consent?
Express consent means written or oral agreement to receive specific types of messages, for example “You want to receive the monthly newsletter from Leanne’s Yarn Shop and weekly discount notifications from us.”
Express consent is only valid if the following information is included with your request for consent:
- A clear and concise description of your purpose in obtaining consent
- A description of messages you’ll be sending
- Requestor’s name and contact information (physical mailing address and telephone number, email address, or website URL)
- A statement that the recipient may unsubscribe at any time.
Gone are the days where you could put a fishbowl out on your TNNA booth table and collect business cards for your newsletter list. This is considered IMPLIED consent and will no longer be allowed under the new law. Additional types of implied consent would be a pattern download, a purchase of a product at a fiber festival or some other contact with a customer.
What else do we need to know?
There are some other requirements that marketers will need to be aware of regarding this law:
- You must retain a record of consent confirmations.
- When requesting consent, checkboxes cannot be pre-filled to suggest consent. Each subscriber must check the box themselves for consent to be valid.
- All messages sent must include your name, the person on whose behalf you are sending (if any), your physical mailing address and your telephone number, email address, or website URL.
- All messages sent after consent must also include an unsubscribe mechanism, and unsubscribes must be processed within 10 days.
Here’s the full text of the law, if you’re into that sort of thing. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s also set up an FAQ page and some guidelines for obtaining consent.
At Stitchcraft, we highly recommend that our clients use Constant Contact for management of their email program. They track all of the consent requirements when a person signs up on your website or through a social media link.
If you would like assistance in converting to Constant Contact, we provide a FREE AUDIT to yarn companies or shops. Call Leanne at 719-539-3110 for more information or email leanne AT Stitchcraftmarketing.com