A thank you to Linda Daley, President of the eNewsletter Boutique Daley Progress for inspiring this post. She’s done a lot of research on Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) and alerted me to possibilities I’d been ignoring.
The basic guideline is this – as of July 1st, unless we have their consent, we cannot send a commercial electronic message (CEM) to individuals with whom we do not have an existing relationship.
How does this impact you? Well if you or members of your sales team are sending email to prospects before there is a conversation, you need to revise your sales process. In order to send email and be exempt from hefty fines, it must be:
- “sent between organizations that already have a relationship, where the message concerns the activities of the organization to which the message is sent”; or
- “solicited or sent in response to complaints, inquiries, and requests“.
In other words, without an existing relationship, or a request for information (verbal or written), you can’t hit “send”.
What’s the solution? Well I suppose it’s obvious what I’m going to say … pick up the phone! Start talking to your prospects and receive their permission to send additional information by email.
It is also important to note that CASL limits our communication with referrals. Should someone provide you with the email address of someone they know and suggest you contact them: “The existing client making the referral must have an existing relationship (personal, family, business, or non-business) with the prospective client that they are referring to the agent. The Regulation permits the agent or business to send a single message to the prospective client, as long as the agent has both provided the prospective client with the full name of the individual who made the referral, and has included the identification and unsubscribe requirements as set out in the Act.”
Again, the best solution is a conversation rather than an email. Once you establish an “existing relationship” the legislation does not impact how you communicate with that potential client. If your cold calling skills are a bit rusty, call me. I can help. In the meantime here are some links to more information about the legislation:
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (This site includes the ability to sign up to receive updates on changes to the legislation. It’s a work in progress so it will be important to stay informed.)
Enjoy your PhoneWork everyone!