So, you’re late on Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) consent gathering? Stay calm, you’re not alone. But how can you catch up and maximize your database and, most importantly, avoid losing any potential customers?
LET’S START WITH THE BASICS: WHAT IS CASL COMPLIANCE?
As mentioned in the law, an implied consent expires 2 years after the last commercial relationship between you and your client. In other words, if a client hasn’t bought from you in the last 2 years, and he’s not bound by a contract to your company, then you lose the possibility to send promotional emails to that client. On the other hand, an explicit consent doesn’t expire; it’s valid for the entirety of your client’s life, unless he unsubscribes.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CATCH UP ON CONSENT GATHERING?
Let’s be honest, as marketers, we all know about it, we all talk about it and it was probably on everyone’s annual marketing plan. It may be a tedious amount of work to implement data sets, processes and campaigns to be CASL compliant but we have to accept it. It has forced every marketer to be more relevant by saying goodbye to mass sendouts and not ignoring subscriber preferences.
Here are a few ideas on how to catch up on consent gathering to maximize your database, while conforming to CASL:
- First off, you have set up processes to acquire email addresses at your point of sale… great! Now that that’s done you need to maximize those implied consents and transform them into express consents. But how do you do that? Simple. Send a confirmation email asking your customers to confirm their email address and give them the opportunity to check the box to receive your brand’s communications. There you have it, a lifelong consent for that customer, giving you plenty of opportunities to convert into a transaction. This confirmation email could even be used in your Welcome Series! Using this method also helps you clean out your list of invalid emails – face it, customers may give false email addresses when asked the question in-store.
- If you have an e-commerce platform and have the purchase information in your ESP, that means all of your subscribers transactions are an underlying opportunity for renewing implied consent. Every time your customers buy through your website, you should update their consent date in your database, because that consent just got renewed for another 2 years.
- Lastly, if you have subscribers in your database with expiring consent – meaning you might lose them forever – you have two ways to solve that:
- Go for automation – this is your hail mary pass at trying to retain subscribers. Put business rules into your platform, allowing your system to send out one, or many emails to encourage those clients to give their consent. You can even try sending promotions or attempting different approaches. It’s your last chance, anything goes.
- If your ESP doesn’t allow you to do automations and you still want to convert those implied consents into explicit consents, then you’ll have to use mass sends. Although, you need to be cautious when doing this. The last thing you want is to come off seeming too pushy, which could have an opposite effect on your subscribers. In those sends, don’t hesitate to give out some discounts, free shipping or any other promotion in exchange for consent. This will encourage quicker action from your subscribers. But, don’t forget to promote the value of your communications. You want your clients to subscribe not only because of promotions, but for their interest in your content. That’s the key to success.
IN THE END JUST KEEP THESE IN MIND…
There are many ways to keep consents in your database. But you also have to keep in mind that for certain industries, such as retail, an explicit consent is not the be-all-end-all. If your client base shops at least once every 2 years, then you’re renewing your consents automatically. Another good thing to remember, arguably the most important CRM practice, is to test, test, and test some more. Find the strategy that fits your product and your clientele. Test different solutions and improve it by making adjustments and by analyzing results.
If you’re interested in learning more about CASL compliance reach out to our CRM Specialist Marie Hamelin at firstname.lastname@example.org.