Know What’s Coming: 2017 CASL Update

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In News

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Image Courtesy Of: Government of Canada 

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) – originally implemented in July of 2014 – may seem like old news, but with the new year comes new updates to email marketer’s most important piece of legislation. The Government of Canada has announced new components of CASL that are to come into effect as of July 1, 2017. Does your current content marketing plan account for these changes? Read on to make sure you and your team are CASL compliant and continue to get the attention of your customers – efficiently and legally.

Not exactly sure what CASL is? No worries. Here’s a quick refresher.

CASL is designed to protect Canadians while still allowing businesses to participate in the international marketplace. For marketers – especially those relying on email and other forms of digital communication – CASL is a set of regulations that requires “express or implied consent for sending of “commercial electronic messages” and imposes certain form (i.e., disclosure) and opt-out (i.e., unsubscribe) requirements for electronic communications.” (http://www.canadianadvertisinglaw.com/anti-spam-law/)

CASL generally prohibits the following actions:

  • “sending of commercial electronic messages without recipient’s consent (permission), including messages to email addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages sent to a cell phone;
  • alteration of transmission data in an electronic message which results in the message being delivered to a different destination without express consent;
  • installation of computer programs without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or its agent, such as an authorized employee;
  • use of false or misleading representations online in the promotion of products or services;
    collection of personal information through accessing a computer system in violation of federal law (e.g. the Criminal Code of Canada); and
  • collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission (address harvesting)” (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com500/faq500.htm)

What does a CASL compliant marketing email look like?

We’re glad you asked. The core requirements of a CASL compliant email include:

  • A link allowing the receiver to unsubscribe, ‘opt-out’, or manage their email preferences;
    and
  • A company’s correct physical mailing address.

At Bubblebox, all of the platforms we work with automatically require the inclusion of an unsubscribe link to commercial emails or a redirection link to an email preference center where recipients can manage their subscriptions. Salesforce Marketing Cloud will not allow for any email excluding an email preference center to be deployed unless they carry transaction related content; similarly, Salesforce Pardot emails will not be deployed without an unsubscribe link. Both of these platforms make it easy to be CASL compliant – one of the many reasons Bubblebox is proud to work within the Salesforce ecosystem as a certified consulting partner.

What does the 2017 CASL update look like?

As of July 1st 2017, the law will also “allow individuals and organizations who are affected by an act or omission that is in contravention of the law to bring a private right of action in court against individuals and organizations whom they allege have violated the law” (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/anti.htm)

In plain English, this means that CASL violations can now be fought in court, provided they have not previously received a Notice of Violation from the Government. Of course, the Government of Canada urges all to consult a legal professional prior to doing so. Better yet, be sure to know all that there is to know about CASL by clicking here.

What happens if an individual or business is not CASL compliant?

Not only will your customers and other email recipients be unhappy with you and your company, but there are steep financial repercussions. CASL violations are governed by three government agencies, and the law allows:

  • “The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to issue administrative monetary penalties for violations of the new anti-spam law.
  • The Competition Bureau to seek administrative monetary penalties or criminal sanctions under the Competition Act.
  • The Office of the Privacy Commissioner to exercise new powers under an amended Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.” (http://www.canadianadvertisinglaw.com/anti-spam-law/)

The minimum financial penalty for infractions in Canada is $1,000. The maximum is $10,000. Why risk it? Ensure that your company and its digital marketing efforts are CASL compliant to keep your customers and your colleagues in the finance departments smiling.

Does the United States have a legislation similar to CASL?

Yes! The United States has their own set of email and digital communication legislation called CAN-SPAM. The regulations are similar to those in Canada, but it’s best to familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to you. Read more about CAN-SPAM here.

What is the takeaway? CASL is here to stay – make sure you are too!

Not only is CASL in full swing (and has been since 2014), but as of July 1st, 2017, it is legal to press charges against those who violate CASL regulations. This means, as an individual or company, you need to know your rights and responsibilities. Take a few moments to reflect on your company’s protocols and internal processes to make sure you’re ready to send stellar marketing emails not just today, but tomorrow.

As a Salesforce Silver Consultancy Partner, we know what it takes to perfect your marketing emails. Whether you’re looking to enhance design, deliverability, or to craft a unique journey for your customers, Bubblebox can help you maximize the value and rewards of your current cloud marketing efforts. Get in touch today!

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