Have you heard about the new Canadian anti-spam regulations coming in?
- send emails, texts or e-newsletters to customers, past customers or potential customers,
- have ever THOUGHT of doing so,
- have a list of previous customers you may want to reach out to in the future,
- use customer relationship management (CRM) software – including Outlook,
- have a pile of business cards from tradeshows or networking events for people you intend to contact some day, or maybe a sign-up sheet with a list of names,
- send email newsletters on behalf of an organization,
- have a membership list, or
- sell anything online,
then you need to pay attention to Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL) which comes into effect on July 1.
It is the toughest anti-spam legislation in the world, and is going to affect all of us. It will disproportionately impact small businesses and organizations with our limited resources and no lawyers on retainer. The time to take action is NOW. You have less than two months to get your existing lists into compliance, and it may take several steps.
Here is a helpful Survival Guide to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL):
- The printable PDF version which you might want to print off and study in a quiet corner.
- An online version of the same thing.
- Cut to the chase and go directly to page 6 of the above, “How to Prepare for CASL“.
It will be easier to convert those old customer lists and collections of business cards into an active, legal mailing list now than after July 1. You need to set up your email lists and start emailing those people from whom you have “implied consent” before CASL goes live.
From what I can see, MailChimp’s email service (which I use) is compliant if you use the double opt-in mechanism (where you have to click a link in an email to confirm your subscription).
MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers, it’s easy to use, and you can enable other people (your web designer, perhaps?) to work on your account as well.
E-mail marketing is such a big component of a successful business strategy nowadays that I strongly encourage you to follow through on this issue whether you’ve been using it already or not.