The laws in Canada have gotten tough on SPAM. While this will be nice for our Inboxes, unless you’re prepared, it could wreak havoc on anyone sending commercial electronic messages (CEM) to or from Canada. And we want to make sure you’re in the know.
NOTE: This work is for limited informational purposes only and is not legal advice and is not a substitute for the Canada Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) law itself or the regulations and other official guidance available. Readers are strongly advised to consider seeking their own legal advice regarding CASL and how to comply.
Coming on July 1st of 2014, sending commercial electronic messages will become more of a burden due to the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). You not only may need to provide an opt-out method, but you may also have to provide identification and have appropriate consent before you send the message.
We’ll try to spell out some points in plain English but this is merely meant as a heads-up and not to be complete or exact. Again, to get the straight goods, there is no substitute for the Canada Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) law itself, the regulations and other official guidance available and your own legal advice regarding CASL. You may want to contact your email service provider too in case they have additional help for you. The Government of Canada website also has some detailed info (albeit in government-speak).
Do I need to worry about the CASL?
You do if you send CEMs to or from Canada. “CEMs” (or, “commercial electronic messages”) are defined in the CASL law.
Does this just apply to email?
It can apply to email, text messages and other forms of messages.
What are some of the basics I need to keep in mind regarding CASL?
At a very basic level, the CASL legislation requires 3 things regarding emails or other messages qualifying as CEM’s:
- Consent. The sender generally must have the express or implied consent of the recipient in order to send a commercial electronic message (or, CEM).
- Identification. The sender of the CEM must be properly identified in the email (including certain contact information).
- Unsubscribe Mechanism. CEMs must include an electronic un-subscribe mechanism, so that recipients can unsubscribe from receiving similar messages in the future.
There is much more to the CASL law and regulations than this, and even this is purely in summary form.
What could happen if I don’t comply with the CASL?
Well, you could be fined, there could even be criminal charges under CASL, but we know you wouldn’t do that.
How can Top Producer CRM help?
While Top Producer provides some features that may be of help, ultimately the responsibility for compliance with the CASL falls on you. The following are some suggestions of how Top Producer® CRM might be able to help, but neither the CRM nor these suggestions are a complete solution for CASL compliance of course.
1. To help keep track who has given you express consent, you can enter these details in the contact’s notes:
And then later when you want to do mailouts, you might want to use the Advanced Search feature to help you find those clients that have given express consent:
2. You can also create a new action plan to help remind you to contact clients to obtain/renew their consent.
3. To help support you have a business or non-business relationship for implied consent, you might want to associate your email with your Top Producer CRM contacts. The Email History feature can help with this:
Since you must clearly identify yourself and include your work address when you send CEM, these features might be of help, in addition to what other identification the CASL law might require:
1. Choose an email address that will help to more readily identify you:
2. You can also use the branding options, like agent photo/logo and merge codes in your email communications to help further identify yourself:
3. Email Stationery will give you an automated way to attach identification to any outgoing email you send:
4. You might also set up an Email Signature that you can insert into your outgoing emails:
Again, be sure to check the CASL law and regulations for the specifics on its identification requirements.
You probably know about this already, since including an unsubscribe mechanism in your marketing email isn’t new, but just in case:
Since CASL requires an unsubscribe mechanism, this feature may be helpful for CASL compliance, but you should confirm it is sufficient with your legal advisor.
There’s a lot to digest with this new law, we know. And this just scratches the surface a bit to get you started if CASL is new to you. So be safe and know your stuff before you send CEMs to or from Canada!
This post is for limited informational purposes only and is not legal advice and is not a substitute for the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) itself or the regulations and other official guidance available or your own legal advice you seek from a knowledgeable professional advisor. Top Producer strongly encourages you to consider seeking legal advice regarding CASL and how to comply.Tags: CASL, Contact management, CRM, Lead management, Marketing, Real Estate, Real Estate Marketing, Top Producer CRM