Everyone has been asking, discussing and researching the new Anti-Spam law with great trepidation. Having done some due diligence (and because I have 5,000+ e-mails on my list – my latest newsletter out TODAY btw), here is what I have researched and was confirmed to me by my peers:
A sender must have:
a) Consent from the recipient to send an email or text whose purpose it is to sell or promote products or services;
b) Give recipients the option to opt-out of future communications of this nature; otherwise it will be considered spam.
Key Elements of the new CASL Defining a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM): A CEM is a message whose purpose is to encourage participation in a commercial activity i.e: an attempt to sell or promote a product or service. Electronic messages are messages sent by any means of telecommunication, including e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, and certain messaging on social media.
Defining ‘consent’: Express consent – the recipient has given oral (if recorded), written or electronic permission to be sent a commercial message for a specific purpose e.g. weekly e-newsletter.
Implied consent – the sender has an existing business or non-business relationship with the recipient, or the recipient has publicly disclosed his contact details (e.g. email address or phone number) to the sender without indication that he does not wish to receive unsolicited emails, and the message is relevant to person’s business role, function or duties in a business or official capacity.
Exempt Commercial Electronic Messages: CASL does not apply if you have ‘consent’ as outlined above. This includes a personal relationship with the recipient (ongoing two-way communications); a family relationship with the recipient; or messages that are sent within or between businesses, where there’s an ongoing business relationship and where the message concerns the activities of the business to which the message is sent.
CONCLUSION – This new law is really meant to target those who literally find/buy/steal e-mail addresses and then spam people. So most of you businesses needn’t worry, unless you have very risk-averse corporate lawyers. – Consent definition is VERY broad.
With the implied consent, you can basically send an e-mail to:
1) anyone who has a publicly disclosed e-mail (via website, social media)
2) who has given you his/her business card with an e-mail or phone number
3) has connected with you on social media (i.e. Linkedin) and they have a disclosed e-mail or phone number
4) anyone you with whom you have had at least two ‘ongoing’ 2-way communications (via text or e-mail).
5) And of course, anyone you know personally
So just be cognizant, always have an option to opt-out, don’t stress too much and send with good faith, good intent and good content.
Keep calm and carry on. Hope you find this post useful.
For more from me (Bobby Umar), please check out: Twitter: @raehanbobby Linkedin: http://linkd.in/1lgAldI