Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and its Affect on Social Profitability

You must be compliant and personalized to achieve a successful email marketing strategy

Despite the fact that Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has prompted many not-for-profit organizations to cut down on – or even cut out – the use of email as part of their marketing strategy, it’s worth the effort to adapt your cause marketing plan to comply with the current legislation.

Email is not only the most effective, but also among the least costly marketing tools, so don’t deprive your cause of the value of this initiative.

Email marketing continues to be one of the top two marketing channels for delivering ROI and will continue to be one of the highest channels for delivering ROI in the next five years, according to 74% of companies, as noted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Furthermore, for each dollar invested in email marketing, organizations can see a ROI of $74.

CASL does not prohibit not-for-profit or registered charities from sending marketing messaging. Rather, the regulation implementing the law includes an exemption for email messages sent by, or on behalf of, registered charities. Especially where the primary purpose of the email message is to raise funds for an organization.

The most significant, and potentially challenging, aspect of CASL is the consent requirement. All organizations are required to obtain positive, “opt-in”, recipient consent to be able to send “commercial electronic messages” (“CEMs”) to their customers, donors, members and others, unless they have a relationship with the contact that is exempt from the law, or can establish implied consent under one of CASL’s specifically defined categories.

Causes and organizations must simply comply with three requirements:

  • obtain consent
  • provide identification information
  • provide an unsubscribe mechanism or method

As part of your email marketing, consider moving from mass mail to a more personalized content strategy that is tailored to your audience. In doing so, concentrate your efforts on segmentation. This means splitting your mailing list into specific groups. Basic segmentation can regroup people based on preferences, demographics and profile, psychographics or behaviour.

Personalization is also key, especially if your organization wants to reach millennials. Studies indicate that millennials are 44% more likely to permanently disengage with brands if they receive high volumes of generic mass email.

Four out of five millennials (84%) are likely to unsubscribe from email lists when bombarded with large numbers of irrelevant messages. It’s clear that

personalizing your communications will help you drive success with the future generations.

Remember, when building your email distribution list, it is quality – not quantity. It is always better to have a small list of interested contacts that will engage with your cause, than a big list of contacts that simply do not care.

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