UPDATE (July 2017): The post below was written in 2014. All that you will read is still applicable today (July 2017). Please do take a moment to read this so you understand how I operate when it comes to adding people to my list.
On July 1st, Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation came into effect that attempts to regulate electronic communications – such as email newsletters (as well as other types of e-communications). The law (CASL) stipulates that, among other rules, marketers (i.e. people and organizations who send newsletters as part of their business marketing) may only send to people who have given consent (see below for more detail on what kinds of consent apply).
You may now be receiving several emails now from a multitude of organizations asking for your express consent. I have done some due diligence on this issue to learn more and to determine if I needed to ask my newsletter recipients for permission prior to July 1st. What I learned is that that because I have followed ethical best practices over the years in how I grew my newsletter database, and by providing “unsubscribe” options and business identification, I can continue to send emails as long as I continue to comply with the law. I may send an email requesting re-permission in due time but for now I have been advised that my practices meet with the ethical and legal practices set out by CASL.
What this means is that my newsletter distribution list is only comprised of people who have:
- Provided prior consent to receive information from me;
- Have or have had a direct professional or personal relationship with me and have provided an ‘implied’ consent (more about this in a bit).
See further detail below in the FAQ on what ‘consent’ means. As well, my email newsletters always feature an “Unsubscribe” option so recipients can easily and safely remove themselves from my list should
Worth Noting: I have NEVER:
- Purchased a list
- Added a list of individuals from a conference (i.e. sometimes conferences hand out delegate email lists).
For more information on what this CASL legislation means for you and how you may have ended up on my list please read my FAQ below. And disclosure note: Since I am paraphrasing the major highlights only and in recognition that there are many further details, nuances and fine lines that are beyond the scope of this post, I encourage you to visit the CRTC site for more detailed information. You can start here with the CASL FAQ here.
FAQ (in my words):
Q: What is the new law all about?
The major highlights of the law states that the sender of email newsletters:
- Must have received prior consent (permission) of their audience in order to send them commercial messages. The consent may be express (see examples below) or implied. The latter (implied) is if the sender and recipient have an existing or past professional relationship whereas the two parties have had some level of prior communications and engagement that would warrant potential interest in the email content.
- Provide specific identification information on the email such as a website address, address and telephone number, company name, etc.
- Must include a simple Unsubscribe feature to allow recipients to easily opt out of the distribution.
Note that for all newsletters sent out on behalf of Big Cheese Coaching I have done my best to comply with the above-stated criteria. Please see additional Qs below if you do not recall providing consent to receive email newsletters or the nature of our relationship.
Q. What are the different types of express consent?
With my practice individuals who have given me express consent have done so in any of the following ways:
- Subscribed to my list either by email or the automatic subscription buttons on any of my websites and blogs.
- Sent me an email asking to subscribe either direct or via another social media channel such as Linkedin
- Completed a ‘sign-up’ sheet at one of my presentations
- Verbally given me permission in a conversationIf you are on my list due to an implied level of consent than our connection may be represented in any of the following examples:
- You are an existing or past client
- You have reached out to inquire about my services and we have engaged in conversation and email dialogue
- We have a business or personal relationship. That said, even on this latter point you most likely would have given me express consent (either written or verbally) because I very rarely added anyone to the list unless they expressed permission and interest.
Q. What if I don’t recall the method of giving permission?
Generally, if you are receiving emails from people or organizations you have never heard of you may have ended up on a list without giving consent.
With respect to my newsletters (sent by myself and Big Cheese Coaching: I’ve been in business for some time now and have sent out newsletters periodically since 2007. If you are receiving my email newsletters but don’t recall the nature of our relationship or whether or not you’ve given permission then you may consider if you would like to continue to receive the newsletters.
If you would like to continue to receive emails, it would be terrific if you can send me a note stating so. While this is not obligatory, it will provide a more current “reconfirmation” of your interest.
If you prefer not to receive further communications you may simply unsubscribe. You may do so by either using the ‘Unsubscribe’ feature on my newsletters, and/ or send me an email asking me to remove you from my lists.
DO YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?
- About me, my services or newsletter? Then please get in touch with me directly.
- About the CASL law? Then check out the website for further info at: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com500/faq500.htm
P.S if you landed on this post and are not currently a subscriber to my newsletter, I welcome you to sign up. See here for info on how to do that.