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A New Sheriff In Town: Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation, Part 2

Database Maintenance
When Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), Bill C-28, was implemented in December 2010, it took most associations by surprise. Now, the challenge is to make sure your database complies with the legislation.

The first post in our New Sheriff series explained the important issue of consent in email marketing, but understanding the rules is just the first step. Here are some questions to help you align your database with the new law:

·         How do you capture the information that goes into your database?

·         Does every member file distinguish between expressed and implied consent?

·         After a member consents, do you keep supporting proof on file, including the statement to which they consented?

·         Do you have a double opt-in process to make sure your members are really signing up?

If your database management system was designed before CASL was introduced, it may not be set up to easily accommodate the changes it requires. If you introduce a new management system in the near or more distant future, you’ll want to build CASL requirements into your plans. Until then, you can use user-defined fields or text boxes to keep the best records you can.

Once your records are organized, the next step is a plan for encouraging your contacts to convert from implied to expressed consent. If that sounds like a chore, we can help.

Still wondering why this is worth doing? Apart from staying within the law and preventing future complaints, a permission-based strategy really does make you a more effective marketer and deliver better results. You might start out complying with CASL because you have to. But some day, you may look back and decide the legislation was one of the best things that ever happened to your marketing strategy.

Ready to read more?  See Part 3 of this series.