CASL Legislation – Where Small Businesses Need to Start

Attended a great North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn today on the topic of CASL, the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation coming into effect July 1 2014. The talk was delivered by Dave Wilson of eXtra Contact.

The main nuggets of information I took away were:

  • Don’t Panic!  You have 3 years to comply fully and secure “Express Consent” for members of your lists
  • The work is to move from “Implied Consent” to “Express Consent” – there are many ways to do this!
  • Tracking is essential!  A big challenge is to track and document consent by person on your list – you need to prove you have express consent if ever challenged.
  • Keep Following Best Practices! Best Practices have always been to not email those for whom you nave no consent and to strengthen relationships with those who sign up.
  • Consult a Lawyer – if you have not been following best practices for electronic marketing, or think you may be spamming, consult a lawyer to learn your options, responsibilities and the risks of continuing.

Start with an audit: What are your practices? Where does your list stand in terms of consent? What do you need to do to comply with CASL?

Internal or Outsourcing?  It is key to determine what resources you can commit internally to comply with CASL and instituting best practices, and what you cannot. To comply with CASL, and to live within it, is an ongoing project. Whatever you can’t do internally, find a service or contractor who can do this work for you. There are plenty of software services you can use (e.g. MailChimp) and service providers (e.g. Constant Contact) who can help advise, support and even supervise your electronic communications, in the age of CASL.

Good luck and let me know if you need someone to do some of the legwork in house or do some contractor/software research for you.

Wow - I Just Learned the Best Tip!