So Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) went into effect last summer. Since then, the sky hasn’t fallen. In fact, there has been only a handful of brands that have been penalized for breaking the law. No doubt there will be others.
But brands are getting cocky, assuming they won’t get caught.
I own a particular brand of phone. I never signed up for their newsletter. But today, I ended up with a piece of marketing email from the brand of phone I own.
Doesn’t sound like a big deal.
But here’s the thing. I never opted in.
That’s the underlying premise of CASL. A brand can send you emails in relation to the necessary operation of the product you bought. What they can’t do is then opt you into their marketing materials.
Another brand that regularly sends emails to me refuses to let me unsubscribe. Jawdroppingly, there is literally no unsubscribe button, a super big no-no. Their argument is that the information is helpful and not promotional, therefore it doesn’t constitute a commercial email. Even though they are a commercial brand sending it for the purpose of drumming up business.
Recently, a friend had me look at a system that would let him scrape Linkedin and add email addresses to his mailing list without the express permission of those people. I pointed out the ways in which it violated CASL. And sure enough, when he hit the unsubscribe button, he discovered the email provider had flagged the email because of its methodology.
The thing about CASL is, it’s not so bad. Not really. It’s there to make sure that the people you’re sending your emails to really want your email. You don’t want people to associate your brand with all the other junk they don’t want.
CASL is meant to weed out the bad marketers from the good. CASL is based on best practices, not the arbitrary wishes of bureaucrats.
It probably embraces much of how you’d like to be marketed to.It is certainly how I like to be marketed to.
So go on. Wherever you live, embrace your inner Canadian.
When you’re oot and aboot, you’ll be a better marketer. Eh?