casl compliance

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  • Get CASL Compliant


    Canadas Anti Spam Law (otherwise known as CASL) will come into effect as ofJuly 1st, 2014. In order to be compliant, organizations that send commercialmessages must follow certain guidelines to ensure their messages are not inviolation of the law.

    Quick facts about CASL It is known worlds most stringent legislation against spam.

    CASL has been designed to combat unsolicited, commercial electronicmessages. If you didnt request it, its spam.

    Commercial electronic messages (CEMs) include the following: Offers to purchase or sell goods and services Offers to provide a business, investment or gaming opportunity Advertisements and promotions

    In essence, dont try to sell anything to anyone electronically without permission.

    CASL also regulates how CEMs are sent. These include via sound, audio,voice, images, notifications via mobile apps, text messages, direct messagesvia social media as well as email.

    You can only send a CEM to anyone who has chosen to receive yourmessages.

    What this means for businessesUnder CASL, you cannot make first contact with a prospect with whom you haveno prior contact. Or, in other words, you have to wait for your potential customerto contact you. Once they do contact you, you have to get permission to sendthem commercial messages.

    How CASL allows you to obtain permission

    Implied consent: if you have a business relationship or previous communicationwith the prospect, you can continue to send commercial messages for up to twoyears after your last message. This means you have to keep records of whenyour last communication was with the prospect, and keep that in mind when yousend future emails.

    If you have clients with whom you are currently in contact, implied consentapplies to them. However, to ensure that you can continue to send themcommercial messages, its best to ask them to sign up receive your messages,so you have actual proof of the permission. Getting permission also means youcan continue to send prospects and customers messages until they unsubscribe.

  • Get CASL Compliant


    Heres a sample consent request for those who are under implied consent.

    Sample consent requestPlease type your email address below if you would like continue receivinginformation about services from XYZ Ltd.

    This email is being sent to you by XYZ Ltd. Please contact us at (address)and phone number or by email at

    You can stop receiving email about our services at any time by clickinghere (unsubscribe link)

    Express consent: no longer implied, this is direct permission, and applies if youhave no prior relationship with the prospect. It is not time based, so you can sendmessages indefinitely or until the prospect unsubscribes. Permission must bedocumented, either orally or in writing, as you need to be able to prove when andhow you obtained that consent. You also need to provide the prospect with ameans to unsubscribe from receiving messages from you.

    If permission has been granted orally, you have the recording of that permissionsaved. If permission is electronic or written, you have to document thepermission in a database with name, date, type of permission obtained.

    How to become CASL compliant

    To ensure your email messages are easy and consistent to send out, itsbest to use an email marketing service provider.

    1. Choose the right email marketing service provider

    The company you choose must:

    Have the ability to create a database of when your prospect first signedup, and keep a record of when emails are sent and to whom

    Allow your prospect to opt in or double opt in*

    Allow your prospect to unsubscribe. The unsubscribe link should be withineach email, and contain a link that allows your prospect to unsubscribeeasily.

    Provide templates this is not essential for CASL compliance, but it helpsyou ensure that your contact information, from and to fields areconsistent.

  • Get CASL Compliant


    Provide a sign up form where prospects can choose what messages toreceive from you. This works if you have multiple newsletters or differenttypes of messages.

    *Definition: once your prospect signs up, an email is sent to them, asking them toconfirm that they want to be on your list.

    2. How to get your prospect to make first contact

    In order to get your prospects to sign up to receive your messages, you have toprovide a reason or incentive. The most irresistible incentives are those that arerelevant to your prospects needs.

    As email inboxes get more cluttered, people are becoming more protective ofwhat email they choose to receive. Make it worth their while!

    Offering an incentive makes it easier for your reader to say yes to signing up yourmessages.

    Some ideas:

    Report / White Paper Audio recording Useful software Spreadsheet, checklist, blueprint Video Teleseminar/Webinar

    3. Your message

    Set up a consistent From name and email address. One of the keysto email marketing success and CASL compliance is identifying who youare. Make the from field appear the same each time. This is easier ifyoure using a template. The template should also include the name ofyour business, a contact person, address and a means to contact you.

    Add a welcome message that all subscribers receive. A welcomemessage lets your readers know that they have successfully signed up.The welcome page can also provide a download link for any incentiveyouve offered. You can also let your subscriber know what to expect fromyour mailings, so they know what to expect. This will limit the number ofunsubscribes.

  • Get CASL Compliant


    4. Provide a landing page or sign up formYou can provide either a landing page or sign up form whose sole purpose is toget your prospects to sign up for your list.

    Here are some basic components of your landing page or sign up form

    Insert an attention-getting headline with a big promise Include the benefits of your incentive Tell your visitor how to subscribe Insert the sign up form from your mailing list program Include final parting thoughts on why your visitor will benefit from signing

    up Add testimonials and feedback from clients, subscribers, etc. Include a spam policy message (Example: Your privacy is protected and

    your email address will only be used by COMPANY NAME tocommunicate with you about INSERT YOUR SUBJECT related subjects.You can cancel your subscription at anytime.)

    Add an opt-in box to every page of your website

    5. Your Contenta. Now that you have your prospects permission, you can start to sendcommercial messages. However, the challenge is now to hold their attention andmake sure they stay subscribed.

    Here are examples of messages you could send:

    Quick tips Quotations Product or service promotions Curated content

    b. Your subject linesThis is the first item your prospect sees when they get your email and oftendetermines if they open your email or not. Curiosity is the essence of a greatsubject. Here are some examples of great subject lines:

    1. Why theyre wrong about ____________

    2. This is the reason why

    3. Frustrated by _________? Heres an idea

  • Get CASL Compliant


    4. A complete and unbiased review

    5. A sneak peek at __________

    6. Why some people never ___________

    7. What ________doesnt tell you about ________

    8. [NAME], did you see this?

    9. Does this bother you too?

    10. Are you ready for ___________?

    11. What if I told you __________

    12. Theres still time (but only if you do it now)

    13. 5 important ways to __________

    14. Good news!

    15. Do you have a few minutes?

    16. Pictures from [insert your name, company name, event, etc]

    17. ______ ends tonight

    18. Can I ask you a quick favor?

    19. Heres the __________ we promised

    20. How to get more [insert benefit]

    21. End of the week wrap up (Good stuff inside)

    22. You get to see this first [Use this one for a special offer you give your customers,before everyone else, for example]

    23. Think about [buying a certain product, taking a certain course of action], check thisout

    c. Other Content Tips

    Keep your subject lines at about 50 characters, including spaces.

    Look at email messages you get and create your own swipe file. What piquesyour curiosity and gets you to open?

  • Get CASL Compliant


    Look at magazine and newspaper headlines. The grocery store checkout may beboring, but its the perfect place to scan headlines and see what gets attention.

    Test or split test for email effectiveness and open rates. Most email software giveyou the tools for testing.

    Try personalization. Test a subject line with your subscribers name and test thesame subject line without it.

    Try adding your company name or personal name to the subject line. If yourreaders look forward to your emails, this may catch their attention.


    Lets talkNeed more tips on email marketing? Id be happy to help.

    Give me a call at 416-893-9244 or contact me by email

    Visit GoodBooks Communications at

    Temi Adew