by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, MarketingTagged as: CASL, Email, Legal Compliancy, Marketing Strategy, Risk Management, Spam
With seven-digit penalties, many marketers are looking carefully at how they are addressing the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) and similar legislation in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, many are making a critical error that may later haunt them – and cost. They are assuming that an email “double-opt-in” constitutes Express Consent. Sometimes it does – and sometimes it doesn’t.
First, some definitions. Express Consent is when a person explicitly has given permission for you to send Commercial Electronic Messages to them. Double opt-in, on the other hand, is different. After a user enters their name and email address on a website form, the email system sends a validation email back to that user. When they click a specially encoded link within that email, they will have validated their email address, and “double-opted-in” to the list.
1) Express Consent doesn’t require double opt-in.
There are many ways to get Express Consent that have nothing to do with double opt-in. Consider these examples:
All of these examples are valid, but there are potential pitfalls: Can you prove that they themselves actually gave you Express Consent? And are you capturing what they have give Express Consent for? Since the burden of proof is on you, maintaining appropriate records is critical. This means saving event feedback forms, emails, lead forms, etc. And it means confirming verbal conversations in writing. Using double opt-in has it’s advantages, but it isn’t the only game in town.
2) Double opt-in does not automatically mean that you have Express Consent.
Many organizations already have part of their email address lists that are double opted-in, but does this mean that those people have provided Express Consent? Not necessarily – consider these examples:
While double opt-in does not automatically mean that you have Express Consent, at least having something (eg the double opt-in) is better than nothing.
CASL (and other Anti-spam laws) are all about compliance, but are also about using email marketing in a strategic fashion. It’s far better to have 100 influential names on your list, than 10,000 people who don’t care – or don’t like your interruption. This week, do two things: focus on all of the ways that you can capture Express Consent, beyond email. And then for your existing double-opt-ins, build your record of proof.
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