Are your e-promotions ready for the new anti-spam law?
(NC)—Any business or organization using e-mail, text messaging or social networks to promote or sell products or services is advised to learn about Canada's new anti-spam law. Once it is in force, compliance with the law will be mandatory, and following the new rules will help businesses and organizations build and maintain the trust of clients and customers.
Consider these first steps for getting ready:
1. Determine if your electronic messages are commercial in nature. The law applies to commercial electronic messages (CEMs) only. A CEM is defined as encouraging participation in a business transaction or activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit.
2. For all electronic messages you have determined to be commercial:
• Get the consent of your recipients, and keep records. The legislation requires obtaining “express” or “implied” consent. Express consent means that a person has clearly agreed to receive a CEM before it is sent – you cannot request consent in a CEM. Consent may also be implied in certain situations, for instance if there is an existing business or non-business relationship. In all cases, ensure you understand the consent you have received from your recipients, and keep detailed records in case you are ever asked to prove that consent has been received.
• Identify yourself and anyone you represent in the message. Provide contact information including your business name, postal address and either a telephone number or e-mail address. This information must be accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent.
• Include a working mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving additional messages. This must be at no cost to the recipient.
• Ensure that no part of the CEM is false or misleading, including the sender's identity, subject line, any Web links, or any other material part of the message's text or data.
3. Learn about the law at www.fightspam.gc.ca. The federal government has posted information about the law along with news, updates and valuable tips. You can even sign up for e-mail updates on topics such as the progress of the legislation and new information resources.
Every business owner, manager and employee is encouraged to examine the legislation to see how it will affect their marketing campaigns.
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