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A Positive Announcement for E-Marketing

Jan 16, 2013 5:47:30 AM
By TPD

in TechTalk, Expert Series

In early November, we shared an Expert Series Article with you about Canada’s E-Marketing Legislation. The proposed regulations meant severe impacts for business owners wishing to leverage electronic messaging to market their business.

Thankfully, the Government of Canada has released a revised set of regulations.

On January 5th, 2013, the Canadian Gazette published the revised version of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations. The proposed regulations have been released in an effort to “encourage the growth of electronic commerce by ensuring confidence and trust in the on-line marketplace”1.

For small to medium sized business owners who operate in Canada, this revised regulation announcement is a step in the right direction. Though strict procedures must still be followed to properly manage unsubscribe requests, business owners are permitted to responsibly utilize electronic marketing.

Marketers will be relieved to read the regulation section, “Excluded Commercial Electronic Messages”, which details specific circumstances wherein businesses may be omitted from Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

For businesses operating in the B2B realm, this proposed change is significant. Unlike the initial CASL which significantly prohibited commercial messaging, the revised regulations protect consumer rights, while still encouraging businesses to responsibly leverage e-marketing to enable the economy to flourish.

For the full text of the revised legislation, visit the Canada Gazette news release by clicking here.

Regardless of these proposed changes, Canadian business owners and marketers should remember to follow best practices when utilizing e-marketing. As explained in our last article on Canada’s E-Marketing Legislation, marketers must be mindful of the following:

1. OBTAINING CONSENT

  • Inform subscribers about what they are consenting to receive (ie. “Please sign me up to receive your monthly newsletter”)
  • On the subscribe page, provide a link to the sender’s Privacy Policy
  • Use an opt-in mechanism, as opposed to an opt-out option (ie. leave the opt-in box unchecked, giving the recipient the option to opt-in if they’d like to receive)

2. DATABASE MAINTENANCE

  • Details surrounding the provision of consent must be retained as proof if required
  • Develop a plan and procedure to secure express permission from any implied consent records you currently hold (ie. current customers will need to express opt-in preferences in order to continue receiving electronic messages)

3. UNSUBSCRIBES

  • Commercial email messages must include a functioning unsubscribe mechanism
  • Unsubscribes must be processed as soon as possible – messages cannot be sent after 10 business days from the recipient requesting the unsubscribe

4. SENDER IDENTIFICATION

  • Messages must clearly identify the sender
  • Messages must include contact information or the sender (mailing address)
  • The “From” address and name must be consistent with the branding presented when subscription was requested
  • Ensure subject lines reflect the message content and are not misleading

While CASL is not yet officially enforceable, it is important to be informed of the proposed regulations. By understanding how changes may impact your business, you can better prepare - position your business for success e-marketing success in the future.

Note: The Personnel Department does not provide legal advice. Until legislation is finalized, we cannot identify specific guidelines that must be followed to comply with Bill C-28.

1. Source: Canada Gazette, http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2013/2013-01-05/html/reg1-eng.html

We’d like to know how Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation may impact your business and learn about what you’re doing to prepare - share your experience with us on Twitter (@tpdtweets) or reach out to us directly!
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Filed under TechTalk, Expert Series

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