Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)took effect on July 1, 2014. Under this law, individuals and businesses are required to gain Express or Implied consent from recipients prior to sending email, text, or social media messages, and keep proof of this consent.

Express Consent – A clear and voluntary indication of preference that is given specifically, either verbally or in writing.

Implied Consent – An assumption of permission which is not expressly granted, but rather inferred by actions.

When CASL was first implemented, the legislation provided Canadian’s with a transition period of July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2017. During the transition period, you were permitted to send messages to recipients who had “implied consent”, unless they unsubscribe. This is about to change. As we enter the final month of this transition period, what changes will take effect and what will this mean for your business?

New CASL Rules 2017

After July 1, 2017, you can only contact someone if they have:

  • Provided you with express consent
  • Made a purchase from you within the last 2 years
  • Made an inquiry to you within the last 6 months

Prior to July, you will need to ensure your company has a process in place to evaluate your implied consent subscribers and remove them prior to the deadline.

How to Evaluate Subscribers

It is crucial to understand the difference between implied consent and express consent. Follow these steps to ensure your marketing campaigns comply with CASL.

  1. Access your list and determine who has given implied consent. This is a great opportunity to clean out your list, and assess who is active and who is inactive.
  2. Request express consent from your implied consent contacts. We recommend sending a CASL opt-in email.
  3. You must remove implied consent contacts who do not respond to your express consent request by July 1, 2017.
  4. Keep and maintain all records of express consent.
  5. Regularly audit your subscription list to ensure you are compliant with CASL.

Update

While the transition period for the CASL deadline has now passed, one key thing did not happen on
July 1, 2017. The Private Right of Action provisions under CASL have been delayed indefinitely by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“Canadians deserve to be protected from spam and other electronic threats so that they can have confidence in digital technology. At the same time, businesses, charities, and other non-profit groups should have reasonable ways to communicate electronically with Canadians. We have listened to the concerns of stakeholders and are committed to striking the right balance.”

– Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

What does this mean for your business? Essentially, you should only be contacting those who you have Express Consent from. But, if you continue to contact your Implied Consent contacts, no legal action can be taken against your company.

Click here if you have any questions or concerns about the new CASL Rules 2017. 

Email Scams: What To Look Out For

At Longevity Graphics, we regularly receive emails and messages from less than reputable sources. As convincing as these emails appear, there are some clear, tell-tale signs that the communication is a scam. In this blog post, we will discuss some common email scams that we have received and how you can avoid falling victim to them.

In order for these scammers to gather personal information quickly, they create a sense of urgency. In their message, they will say:

  • Your account is being threatened
  • You need to provide them with access
  • They will provide you with a link to a legitimate looking website
  • The will ask you to input your login credentials

After they have your personal information, they can then use it as they please.

How can you spot these scam emails?

Here are some things to look out for when you receive an email or message from an unknown source.

  • Spelling errors
  • Poor grammar
  • Lack of capitalization
  • Mention of another country
  • Offers that are too good to be true

Sales Email Scams

A common scam that we have received are emails from internet marketing companies saying that we have inquired about their services. They structure the email in such a way that it appears as through we have contacted them and requested information about their services.

They will include re: in the subject line of the email. This makes the email appear as though it is a reply. When in fact, it is not.

In the body of the email, they will say:

  • Thank you for reaching out to us…
  • Thank you for inquiring about our services…
  • As requested, here is more information about…
  • We can provide your company with…

The email will contain links to “further information”.  Ultimately, they will make claims about their product or service that are just too good to be true.

Phishing Email Scams

Phishing scams are emails or messages from someone pretending to be from a reputable source with the goal to gain access to your personal information. The cyber criminal will attempt to trick you into giving them access to your account.

The most common information they are looking for are your passwords for:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Work Accounts
  • Cloud Storage
  • Personal Information

In order to appear more convincing, these messages appear to be from a reputable source such as your bank or other financial institution.

Have you ever received an email or call claiming to be from Google Adwords? Google has made it very clear that they will “never send you an unsolicited message asking you to provide your password or other sensitive information by email or through a link.”

Greeting Card Email Scams

As the name suggests, a greeting card scam is an email you receive containing a link to an e-card. The email itself appears to be from a friend, but if you open the email and click on the link, malicious software will begin to download and install onto your computer.

Since the beginning of the twenty first century, technology continues to connect us to each other as never has before. Society has experienced many positive advancements from technology; however, it has also opened our lives to the threat of cyber criminals. By using your best judgement and following the tips above, you will be better equipped to navigate through the digital era.

Longevity Graphics is a leading web marketing agency that helps business owners grow their business. Since 2001, we have been been building successful web site designs and implementing internet marketing strategies, by providing across-the-board internet services to businesses looking to take advantage of their online marketing potential.

We used to do a ton of email marketing quite successfully for some our clients in specific markets certain times of the year.We have achieved great receive rates, open rates and click through rates for our clients.

We have noticed, however, that over the years businesses are experiencing less success with their email marketing. efforts.  There are a couple of different reasons that can be directly associated with these decreases.

1. Spam filters are getting better

2. People are tired of being bombarded with marketing emails

3. Trust and credibility of email marketing is decreasing still

In order to run a successful email marketing campaign, here are a couple of tips that will help to improve results.

1. Choose a reliable list. It seems pretty straight forward but this is an area that I see businesses fail with frequently. Make sure the list is up to date. Sending emails to old email addresses that people do not check is pretty useless. Also, sending to emails like [email protected] and [email protected] are also a waste of time as they are not directed at specific people and may not even get read.

2. Choose a targeted list. Make sure the list you are using is targeted to your demographic. An in-house mailing list to your current customer list is the most effective. When you buy a list, make sure that the list is up to date and is specific to the audience that you are aiming to reach.

3. Run your email through multiple spam filters before you hit send. A lot of email programs now have spam filter checks built in. I suggest running your email through more than one. This will help to get your email through more spam filters.

4. Do a test run to multiple mail servers. We all have multiple email addresses from different email providers. I recommend sending the email to as many different mail servers that you have access to before sending the actual email. This will allow you to ensure your email is being delivered and not being caught by a spam filter.

5. The subject line is key. A great subject line will make the difference between a successful email marketing campaign and a dud! Super important. Make sure you take a look at this resource for spam trigger words when writing your subject line. Be creative! There are lots of ways to entice people without getting blocked by spam filters.

If you are really stuck, hire a professional!