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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Why Your Business Should Pay Attention to CASL

Many companies are worried about Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). A new rule goes into effect next July, and the penalties are harsh. If you email Canadians who haven’t opted in, you could be on the hook for a lawsuit for sending CEMs without permission. Penalties can reach up to $10 million.

So, what is CASL? What are CEMs? And how can you comply?

Understanding CASL

CASL dates back to July 1, 2014, when it first went into effect. Section 6 of CASL covers all of the requirements and provisions of CASL. Several provisions were phased in over time, including the “private right of action” rule, which goes into effect July 1, 2017.

CASL applies to all electronic messages, such as emails and text messages, that are sent in relation to commercial activities. These messages are known as CEMs, or “commercial electronic messages”. Commercial electronic messages must be sent to an address, such as an email address or mobile phone number, in order to be subject to the terms of CASL. Thus, commercial blog posts or webpages are not considered CEMs.

CASL requires obtaining express consent, either in writing (electronic written consent is permitted) or orally, before sending CEMs. There are a few instances where implied consent is allowed, such as for existing business and non-business relationships or voluntary disclosure without indicating that the person does not want to receive messages.

If you send CEMs to people in Canada without prior consent, you could face serious consequences. Starting next July 1st, individuals and organizations can bring civil actions seeking redress in court from anyone in violation of CASL. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission can impose up to $10 million in penalties for the most serious violations.

Not only are US companies concerned about complying with this particular section of CASL, their legal departments don’t want to take chances. Thus, marketing departments are being told not to email anyone on the chance that a handful of contacts might be located in Canada — and it only takes one.

What does this mean to marketing and sales departments? They’re legitimately concerned that new leads will be cut off and wonder how they’ll be able to make up for such a shortfall.

But there are some important exceptions to Section 6. Using email validation tools such as DOTS Email Validation can be your key to keeping email – and the pipeline of leads – flowing.

Avoiding Running Afoul of CASL

First, it’s important to understand what section 6 of CASL applies to and what it doesn’t apply to.

Section 6 of CASL deals with CEMs sent to electronic addresses:

  • Canadian enforcement against spammers operating in Canada is allowed.
  • The Canadian Government is allowed to share information with other state governments that have substantially similar legislation (like the United States’ CAN-SPAM act) if the information is relevant to an investigation or proceeding involving similar prohibited conduct.

Section 6 of the Act does not apply to CEMs under some circumstances:

  • The person sending, causing, or permitting the CEM to be sent (the sender) must reasonably believe that it will be accessed in a foreign state listed in Schedule 1.
  • The CEM must be sent in compliance with the foreign law, which addresses conduct that is substantially similar to the conduct prohibited in section 6 of CASL.

In other words, CASL excludes emails if you’re sending them to someone you are reasonably sure lives in a foreign country that has its own spam laws and you are in compliance with those.

How to Continue Marketing Your Business After July 1st

You can’t blame your legal department for wanting to avoid lawsuits; it’s in your company’s best interest to comply with all applicable laws. However, the answer isn’t to shut down email marketing completely; it’s to become reasonably sure where your recipients live before sending CEMs.

Service Object’s DOTS Email Validation API can help you be reasonably sure where someone lives and which laws might apply. For example, the laws of the country where the person is located may be more liberal than Canada’s and would apply instead of CASL. The vast majority of nations (115 other countries ranging from all of Europe, Australia, Japan, S. Korea, China, Brazil and Russia) do have their own laws, such as the United States’ CAN-SPAM act or Canada’s CASL.

By using DOTS Email Validation software, you may be able to create an email marketing list that is safer-to-send to and will satisfy your legal department.

Sources:

http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/com500/faq500.htm – Does section 6 of CASL apply to messages sent outside of Canada?
http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/00273.html SCHEDULE (Paragraph 3(f)) LIST OF FOREIGN STATES
Canada’s Castle (CASL) – Law on Spam and other Electronic Threats.
http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/index.html – full copy of the law passed in December 2010

Moving to Canada – Mail Subscriber Guide

Thinking about moving to Canada after this election? All jokes aside, there are some things you should know about sending or receiving mail to our northerly neighbor. We have compiled some of the key things you should know before making the move.

Home Delivery Phase Out

On December 11, 2013, Canada Post announced a plan to phase out urban door-to-door delivery service. This was in part due to rising costs and falling mail volume, thanks to the digital age. The door-to-door delivery service would be succeeded by community mailboxes. This plan was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014 and to be completed by 2019. To date over 1 million addresses have been moved to community lockboxes. This conversion is happening in every province.

The switch to community mailboxes was not without opposition. Complaints about accessibility to the new community mailboxes and littering around the units prompted a halt on the new roll-out by the new Liberal government in November 2015.

Address Formatting Guidelines

While there are many similarities in the format of Canadian addresses vs US addresses, there are some key differences which should be noted to ensure prompt delivery of parcels.

Format Example:

JOHN JONES
MARKETING DEPARTMENT
10-123 MAIN ST NW
MONTREAL QC H3Z 2Y7

Address Casing – Canada Post recommends that all address information should be printed in upper case, although lower case is acceptable.

Unit Number, Civic Number Format – Canada Post will accept one of the following formats for unit numbers. In this example 10 is the unit number, with 123 as the street number.

• 10-123 Main St
• 123 Main St Apt 10
• Apt 10
123 Main St

Street Direction – Street Direction should be the last element of a civic address line.

Postal Code Format – All Postal Codes should be in upper case format with a space separating the first three characters from the last three (e.g. M3C 0C2).

Shipping Rate Comparison

The current domestic postal rate for letters mailed within Canada and less than 30G in weight is $0.85. In comparison to US domestic postal rate of $0.47 for mail letters up to 1 oz. While the US offers a discounted rate for postcards at $0.34, Canada Post does not offer this discount. In comparison, Canada Post rates are between 20-57% higher than USPS for comparable domestic shipping. To combat the costly fees of shipping within Canada, some users will make a round trip through USPS service to deliver to a Canadian address and avoid Canada Post fees, although this is not always a viable solution.

Shipping Delays

While shipping delays are not uncommon to USPS and Canada Post users, some Canada Post users have complained of longer delays for parcels shipped domestically vs internationally. One such user complained of a parcel taking weeks to transit two provinces while another package was shipped internationally within several days. Some possible explanations for domestic shipping delays within Canada include understaffed couriers, mail processors and extreme weather.

 

Service Objects is the industry leader in real-time contact validation services.

Service Objects has verified over 2.8 billion contact records for clients from various industries including retail, technology, government, communications, leisure, utilities, and finance. Since 2001, thousands of businesses and developers have used our APIs to validate transactions to reduce fraud, increase conversions, and enhance incoming leads, Web orders, and customer lists. READ MORE