Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Are you spamming? CASL & Association Implications

Association Executives should be getting ready to ensure that their email communications are compliant with the impending Anti-Spam Legislation; and getting your email communications practices in line with the law should be a priority now - before the law is formally in place.

Why?  Because of the simplest ways to ensure that consent was obtained is to get it started by email - which you will not be able to do with a good portion of your community after the law is in effect.

What are some of the top things to think about when preparing for CASL?  Here are our recommendations:

  • In terms of the legislation, "commercial" is defined as the content of the message; or “ any electronic message that encourages participation in a commercial activity – whether or not there is profit”,  and not the sender of the message.  When assessing your communication material, please include all email messages that include some form of commercial activity.
  • Recipients must give consent to receive commercial emails. 
  • There are two forms of consent: "Implied" is considered to be assumed consent based on past relationships within the last two years.  These at this time can be considered your members.  "Express" consent is considered to be the primary type of consent that you should be looking to obtain, and is where the contact (in this case, non-members, or other stakeholders), have provided you with their consent verbally or in writing to receive commercial email messages from you. Express consent is valid until the recipient has unsubscribed from your communication.
  • Going forward, organizations should ensure that your CRM is capable of saving the following information:  communication preferences for members, non-members and other stakeholders (including sponsors and exhibitors), a field indicating whether implied or express consent has been obtained; and a date field to store the date that consent was obtained.
  • CASL applies to any commercial electronic message (email) that updates a contact on new information on the organization, promotes a product or service, invites a contact to a conference or event, invites your community of partners to sponsor or exhibit, etc.

It is recommended to all organizations to get started NOW, and save the organization time and resources in the future.

For more information, please consult www.fightspam.gc.ca

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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