Preparing for CASL? 4 Must Dos!
"Hopefully Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is not a surprise to you at this point. CASL’s enforcement start date is rapidly approaching on July 1, 2014 and to help you prepare I am offering 4 “Must Dos” for things to accomplish to help you get your Digital Marketing Programs ready and compliant with the legislation. These tips are based on many discussions with marketing professionals, legal professionals, Industry Canada and the CRTC."
Hopefully Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is not a surprise to you at this point. CASL’s enforcement start date is rapidly approaching on July 1, 2014 and to help you prepare I am offering 4 “Must Dos” for things to accomplish to help you get your Digital Marketing Programs ready and compliant with the legislation. These tips are based on many discussions with marketing professionals, legal professionals, Industry Canada and the CRTC.
Review how you are collecting data and build a plan to bridge the gaps between your current processes and potentially new processes under CASL. Begin by identifying all of your input sources. These may include:
- Point of sale
- Call Center
- Social Channels
- Paper contests
- Third parties
- Email Service Provider
- Mobile Marketing Provider
- Web pages/triggers
- Ecommerce solutions
- Corporate emails
- Social Networks *(Posts to your own social accounts; Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. are not considered CEM’s but DM’s and possibly @messages are.)
Then identify all of your output sources. These may include:
Once you have identified all of the required changes to your Messaging programs begin working with your design, programming and web teams to schedule changes to your systems, web pages, forms and templates to ensure these new elements are properly captured and upgrades are scheduled within time for CASL enforcement.
Data management will be key to compliance. Start by reviewing your database to see how you are currently collecting and more importantly recording consent for your members. You will need to provide the level of consent as well as identify any gaps that may exist in database fields or solutions. These may include:
- Initial Consent date
- Consent level
- Consent source (ex. Version of form, website, event name)
- IP address
- Last implied date
- Last consent date
Always remember that under CASL the sender of the message needs to prove consent to send it.
3.Templating of Messages
The next step is to take inventory of your current digital marketing programs. Include all of your digital marketing programs; CEMs, newsletters, transactional emails, SMS/MMS, and social media accounts into a list. To qualify for proper express and implied consents Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requires that proper identification and notifications be supplied to potential recipients of commercial electronic messages at the time of subscription. You must ensure that all properties are updated to contain all prescribed information including:
- Postal Address
- Contact method (phone, email, or contact form)
- Unsubscribe statement
- Identify missing forms and start update process
Finally you should develop a centralized unsubscribe policy and database and build programs to upgrade consents where necessary. Begin by first identifying the various consent types in your database which may include the following:
- Express (consent good until withdrawn)
- Good for long sales cycles or infrequent contact programs
- Implied (consent good for 24 months)
- May work well for short or frequent sales cycles
- Be sure to monitor 24 month expiry for a program like this
- Inquiry (consent good for 6 months)
- Blended consent
- May be harder to manager
Under CASL, when processing all unsubscribes, these must be dealt with without delay but can’t take longer than 10 days to process.
Preparing for CASL takes a lot of work, but with proper plans and incremental goals and you’ll get there. This is a big project, so remember to use the three year transition period effectively to complete this project and build it the right way, just be sure to stay within the rules while planning these changes/upgrades. Take the time to check in and see that your email, web, form and social templates are being updated to make sure the prescribed information is being included and properly displayed to prospective subscribers and customers. Don’t wait until the last week to roll out these changes. Be sure to give your team time to confirm these processes are working properly and the updates are being recorded in your new database fields.