Ever since the CRTC issued the Canadian Anti Spam Law (CASL) on July 1st 2014, digital marketers have been on edge. Even though the new CASL law is not well understood, many have not spent the time to ensure that their email marketing practices are fully CASL compliant. Once the CRTC slapped a 1.1 million dollar fine on Compu-Finer and then a $48,000 fine on Plentyoffish marketers were spooked.
These two companies clearly violated the law, and they were punished for their mistakes.
CASL Compliant – 6 things you need to know
As a marketer you need to stay on the right side of the law. Your email marketing efforts should keep the following six principles in mind in order to stay CASL compliant:
1. Confirmed Consent:
- Using confirmed consent does not necessarily make your database CASL compliant. It’s an important part of being compliant, but there are other ways to ensure this by capturing the source and date of consent. Within the itracMarketer CASL compliance center, not only can you tag your database with confirmed consent status. You can also provide screen shots and source links (URLs) from the forms where the consent was originally captured to validate your confirmed consent database.
2. Expressed Consent:
- Express consent received before CASL went into effect is valid. That’s obviously a major relief for you as a marketer worried about the possibility of having to re-confirm your existing lists. You should, though, be able to prove the validity of the express consent, specially if there was ever an investigation. You can detail this directly in the itracMarketer CASL compliance center.
3. Implied Consent:
- Implied consents that spring from a business relationship or transaction are valid for a maximum of 2 years from the date of the last business interaction. Since this changes from one business or industry to the next, it is important to have the right context to determine the date of your implied consent status from an individual.
- Another type of implied consent is the 6-month status. This version of implied consent known as “Inquiry” applies to anyone simply asking a question or requesting information. This gives you a 6 month window to win that person over to a higher tier of implied consent through a business transaction or an express consent status.
- Within itracMarketer not only can you tag your contact with implied consent, but you can also choose the type of implied consent, depending on the expiry date or nature of the relationship with a contact. ItracMarketer will ensure a contact that has an expired implied consent will not receive any email communication from that point onward. You will also have to ability to convert your implied consents to expressed automatically within the platform.
4. Commercial Electronic Messages:
- Any CEM message (a message that contains any amount of commercial or advertising content) must have the appropriate CASL requirements. Sender contact info and an unsubscribe option have to be present and visible within the email. ItracMarketer automatically generates both of these requirements when sending one-off sales emails or large scale campaign messages so you don’t need to worry about adding them.
5. Citizenship and Geography:
- CASL only applies to Canadian citizens receiving CEM messages.
6. Auditing/Documenting Compliance:
- It’s very important for companies to build extensive, auditable consent databases to demonstrate compliance with CASL. This includes collecting strong quality data on exactly when people have provided consent, what sort of consent they’ve provided, archiving and using proper time-stamping. These features, in addition to instant CASL audit reporting and automated CASL campaign collection capabilities are all available in itracMarketer through the CASL Compliance Manager.