Marketing Wake Up Call – CASL and Email Deliverability

Today’s the day marketers…July 1, 2014. Why so significant? Yes, it’s a short week due to the US holiday, but there is a more pressing business issue that you now really need to think about, Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is now in effect. Today marks the day some of you modern marketers may have been dreading – the end of free-wheeling, mass email marketing of a commercial electronic message (CEMO) without explicit consent from the recipient.

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CASL is important and it WILL impact your business one way or another (either you need to change your email processes by obtaining and documenting explicit consent from recipients or you will to face major fines, and possibly be subject to class action law suits down the line). It is a pretty big deal for those of us who use email to communicate with our prospects and customers for a living, but don’t panic yet … there is a grace period, this does only directly pertain to computers or recipients in Canada (so far), and there are steps you can take to comply with this law and get your organization prepared.

Step 1:
First step is to conduct an assessment of your current email processes for obtaining and maintaining explicit and implied consent from your database.  How will you analyze your existing database? What new processes do you need to put in place to obtain and record the explicit consent? This is critical for CASL compliance and perhaps the biggest challenge.

Step 2:
Gain a broader understanding how Email Deliverability affects your overall Demand Generation Strategy. Email Deliverability is not just one aspect of an email – it takes into account various components of your email including the send from address (an element relevant in CASL), to the images used, as well as text used both in the headline and body, as they often trigger spam filters and impede your ability to send messages and for recipients to receive them. Email Deliverabilty is not directly part of CASL, however, putting in place best practices in Email Deliverability is just good business as you are  improving your opportunities to reach the Inbox and Engage with your  intended recipients.

Achieving compliance for this new law is not going to be easy and it cannot be done with an email or two to your database (you might be violating CASL already). It takes some insightful analysis of your email process and an understanding of what needs to be done to prepare you organization to obtain that explicit consent. Not to mention how to retain documentation of the consent, as well as identifying a solution to mitigate any potential issues that may be found, CASL-related or other.

To help you get started, ANNUITAS is offering an Email Deliverability Assessment to provide a snapshot of the overall viability of your email.  It’s simple to get started- send us a sample piece of content from your marketing automation system and answer a few questions and ANNUITAS will return a personalized, unique snapshot of your Email Deliverability health in terms of filtering, content, reputation and authentication.  We will indicate areas that look to be in good order and areas that may pose potential issues.

CASL is a good wake up call for marketers to think more strategically about Email Deliverability and Compliance best practices.  Best-in-breed marketers don’t spam, we want to Engage and Nurture our prospects and customers. We don’t want to send emails that aren’t wanted and we certainly want to ensure when we send our emails—that they are received and not blocked by spam filters or authentication issues.

Sometimes it is ok to recognize that you don’t know what you don’t know…but that is no longer an excuse for marketers. CASL is now in effect- take the ANNUITAS assessment and ensure your Email Deliverability is in top form and then start taking steps to comply with CASL. It’s wake-up time.

Author: Erika Goldwater, CIPP/US @erikawg Director, Marketing, ANNUITAS

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