If you use commercial electronic messages such as e-mail, newsletters, text messages, voicemail and social media to market your products, you could be breaking the law as of July 1st, 2014. Monetary penalties for non-compliance are high; up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses.
What’s it all about?
Basically, businesses will be required to obtain consent from recipients before sending them commercial electronic messages (CEMs).
Advance preparation for this legislation is highly recommended. Resist the urge to procrastinate.
Law firms advise sending your contacts an electronic message prior to July 1st, to request their consent. Doing so after the legislation takes effect puts you in contravention of the law.
Is there a silver lining?
This additional administrative task on your already bulging to-do list is time consuming and eats up valuable resources, without any apparent payback. The one bright spot I see is, by sending commercial electronic messages only to people who consent to receive them, your marketing will target a more receptive audience. And you will no longer annoy people who are not interested in what you are selling. This is an effective strategy for strengthening your brand.
Where do you begin?
Here is an excellent resource that explains the legislation and provides valuable tools to help you tackle the new rules. There’s even a template to help you manage contact lists and keep track of information required under the law (refer to the document “Conducting Inventory of CEMs”). http://www.davis.ca/en/publication/anti-spam/
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© Birgit Blain & Associates Inc.