The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will begin to take effect on July 1, 2014. The law’s stated aim is to protect individual Canadians “while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace”.
The new legislation addresses various types of violations including sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages, the installation of computer programs without consent, false and misleading websites, the unauthorized collection of electronic addresses and the collection of personal information by accessing a computer system.
What the Canadian marketer needs to understand is that it is not prohibited to send marketing messages, however there are requirements for sending such messages. There are three requirements that are needed: (1) to obtain consent, (2) to provide identification information, and (3) to provide an unsubscribe mechanism.
The law affects any commercial communication sent by any sort of business, apart from registered charities with fundraising initiatives. For smaller businesses, there might not be enough awareness, technology or financial resources available to comply with the requirements needed for July 1.
Requirements and Definition
The definition of electronic messages does not only include email, but also social media content. General posts on social media do not count as spam, however, if we use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to send commercial messages to another person, then it is considered a commercial electronic message that could be spam if it is not following the law’s requirements.
Consent for sending electronic messages can be implied through an existing business relationship, up to two years after the business deal has ended. The business has to be able to prove the deal and the timing of it.
Companies have to reach out to their clients by July 1 and have them opt-in to email or social media communications. This could mean that the company sends out notifications having customers check a box that says they’re willing to receive electronic communications. The key is to do this before July 1, since after the deadline, even this process will be an offence. The only alternative to gain consent after July 1 will be through telephone calls or snail mail.
A Better Option
To cope with the anti-spam legislation and continue distributing quality marketing material, marketers have another option: mobile apps. Currently the legislation does not take into account content distributed through apps on digital devices. With an app where customers could download and authorize automatically updated content, marketers could get a step ahead with this innovative and proven-successful tool.
As the new Canadian anti-spam act is implemented, digital marketing communication could be enhanced with mobile apps, where customers choose to download them and the content within is automatically refreshed.
Want a demo on innovative mobile apps that would market your business amidst the anti-spam law? Contact our Chief Experience Designer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-595-9823.