Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
|by Melissa Mangold, Virtual Marketing Representative|
The world’s toughest anti-spam law will soon be enforced in Canada. Are you in compliance?
At the beginning of 2014, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect, putting staunch rules and severe penalties around email and text message marketing. (And severe is not an over exaggeration; we’re talking fines of $10 million. Yes, Ten. Million. Dollars!) These harsh penalties will start being enforced July 1 for any violations of these regulations.
I’m not in Canada, why should I care?
While not all US states border Canada, those that do lie along our Northern border should be aware that they may have Canadian customers in their system. If you do live in a border state and make it a habit to email blast your entire database, you could be putting yourself at risk.
This is also an unprecedented attempt to manage electronic messaging, so the world is watching Canada to see how CASL shakes out. What Canada implements today could very easily become the standard among other countries. Better to be aware and safe, than unaware and 10 million dollars poorer.
What is CASL?
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation requires that all commercial electronic messages (CEM) which include email, text messages or messages to a social networking account must have the recipient’s consent. Every CEM must also correctly identify the sender by showing a valid mailing and email address, and include an opt out function. If a recipient complains of a violation of this legislation, the sender holds the responsibility of proving their message was compliant. In other words, if someone complains about your marketing message, you’d better be able to prove you were within your legal rights to approach them with said message.
How do I know who I can email?
Under CASL, you can only email (or text, or tweet, or use any other form of electronic communication with) consenting customers. So how do you know when they’ve given their consent? Well, there are two forms:
What if my customer hasn’t implied or expressed consent?
If you don’t have implied or express consent from your customer, just steer clear! (Unless you have a few million bucks lying around.) You could also continue to communicate electronically if the communication is regarding one of the following scenarios:
There are still ways to properly leverage email marketing and make it effective and compliant. Reach out to your email expert for suggestions and best practices before this Canadian law is enforced on July 1, 2014. Be aware if you are a US dealer with Canadian customers in your database.
For a complete interpretation of the law and to ensure your marketing practices are in compliance, please seek legal counsel.
About the Author
|Melissa Mangoldis a VMR (Virtual Marketing Representative) at ADP, optimizing dealer email & direct mail marketing efforts by analyzing their ROI results, monitoring current industry best practices and gauging current business needs. Her first car was a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and together they ruled the road (and off-road!). When Melissa is not optimizing dealer marketing campaigns, she is a social media editor for an online magazine. She has a B.A. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Post-baccalaureate certificate in Advertising for Creatives from Northwestern University. Melissa can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.|