The truth is, many think it’s impossible to stay competitive in an increasingly digital landscape while maintaining CASL compliance.
But with the right strategy, you can maximize growth and stay CASL compliant in the process.
And to help you do just that, we created this CASL Tips series. In this series, we’ll show you how you can stay CASL compliant without negatively affecting your lead generation efforts.
By following the 5 steps in this series, you will be able to:
- Ensure compliance of your email marketing programs
- Maximize the number of contacts in your database you can email
In this article, we’ll be covering tip #1: separating consent from subscriptions.
Consent is one of several factors which need to be properly handled in order to maintain CASL compliance while not hindering (and preferably, optimizing) lead generation.
This is because any contact you’ve acquired without a clear indication that they wish to receive email from you (like checking a consent checkbox on a form) is considered “implied consent”; and it’s illegal to send them emails after six months from the date of their last inquiry (or after two years of making a purchase).
However, it’s not so simple as adding some subscription checkboxes on your forms as we’ll explain in a moment. Which brings us to our first tip in the series.
CASL Tip #1: Separate consent from subscription
Under CASL, your consent request must be clear about the “purpose or purposes for which the consent is being sought”. This makes sense in principle but has pitfalls for both you and your contacts:
If you’re too:
- Specific – you run the risk of sending a message that isn’t covered
- General – you won’t be providing enough choice. You may even discourage visitors from providing consent
Some have taken the approach to track and manage separate consent for each type of message sent – but this is quickly becomes very complicated to manage.
Our recommendation is to separate consent from subscriptions:
- Broad consent request – Make a broad umbrella consent request covering all email communications
- Two or more subscriptions – Create more than one subscription type to allow your contacts to manage the types of messages they receive. Even if you only send one type of message now, come up with two or three very broad categories of messages you might eventually send
Separating consent and subscriptions provides more choice to your contacts
Subscriptions provide choice and reduce unsubscribes
Subscriptions are a collaborative approach to email marketing. By providing choice they build trust and reduce unsubscribes:
- Build trust by allowing your contacts to control the messages they receive
- Reduce unsubscribes by providing the option to unsubscribe from certain types of messages without requiring the withdrawal of consent for all messages
A comprehensive subscription strategy is required to make it work. This includes ensuring appropriate contacts are subscribed and honouring subscriptions in your email campaigns. Maximizing subscriptions collaboratively is covered in the second tip in this 5-part series.
Separation of consent and subscriptions on a communication preferences page
CASL Tip #1 Action Steps:
To recap, follow these action steps to implement CASL tip #1:
- Create two or more subscription options – even if you only send one type of message now
- Track consent separately from subscriptions
Navigating the specifics of CASL consent policy can be tricky, but with the right strategy in place you can stay compliant while maximizing your lead generation efforts.