A few months leading up to July 1, 2014 you may have noticed that almost every business you had even the slightest relationship with was seeking your permission to continue sending you e-offers, electronic newsletters and other types of promotional e-mails.

Indeed, these businesses were preparing for the introduction of the Canadian Anti-Span Law, or CASL, which has been in effect now for several months.

Make no mistake: this legislation has a significant impact on your e-direct marketing strategy. As you consider hiring a professional to execute your direct response copywriting tasks, you might also wish to ensure your marketing deployment efforts are CASL compliant.

How can small to medium-sized businesses become CASL confident? The following tips will assist you as you begin to master the new reality of direct marketing in Canada.

Understanding Express Consent …

While the purpose of the new legislation is to reduce the amount of SPAM e-mails flooding Canadians’ inbox each and every day, many legitimate businesses such as yours must now ensure they have obtained consent to send direct marketing e-mails to new or prospective clients.

There are two types of consent in the context of the CASL: express and implied consent.
It’s important to note that expressed consent can be obtained orally or in writing, such as by having a consent form field on a newsletter form or on your website.

The burden of proof for this consent will be on you. However, once you do have express consent, you are not limited in time for your direct marketing: you may continue to solicit these individuals as long as they do not unsubscribe from your e-mail list.

… And The Implications of Implied Consent

As a business, you generally receive query emails, or perhaps record an e-mail address from a person wishing to know something in particular about your services. In the context of the CASL, this is implied consent to continue to receive emails from your business.

Permission to send e-marketing materials to people for whom you have implied consent is limited in time: generally, CASL provides a two-year window from the moment the relationship starts, unless they withdraw their consent.

Provisions for Non-Profit Organizations and Registered Charities

Many non-profit organizations and registered charities which seek the services of professional direct response copywriting professionals do so in order to effectively solicit existing and potential donors to raise funds for important projects.

While the CASL does apply to them, there are certain nuances and provisions made to enable them to continue to collect donations, while remaining compliant. If this is your case, consulting the CRTC website will give you examples of what is acceptable in the context of CASL-compliant solicitation.
When dealing with legislation, knowledge is power and peace of mind. Know you rights and obligations so that your direct response efforts will be helping, not hindering, your bottom line!