Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) became official on July 1, ushering in a new era for online marketing.
We recently surveyed Canadian small businesses to get their take on CASL, their preparedness for the legislation, and the impact they expect CASL would have on business.
We found that, despite the long ramp up period before the legislation went into effect, most Canadian small businesses are still behind the curve when it comes to fully understanding the new legislation and what steps they need to take to be compliant.
Our survey showed:
- Less than half of small businesses understand how to be CASL-compliant
- Just 33 percent of small businesses are aware of the penalties associated with non-compliance
- Only 29 percent of small businesses actually began preparing for CASL ahead of July 1
What steps are small businesses taking so far?
The small businesses that are already taking steps to prepare for CASL are largely focused on educating themselves about regulations and how to be compliant (85 percent).
Other CASL compliant activities include: reviewing current email contact lists to ensure proper permissions were in place (59 percent); and keeping records of when, where, and how permission to email was obtained (51 percent).
At this time, limited action is being taken when it comes to other aspects of CASL compliance, like working to obtain express consent to continue emailing those contacts they had implied permission to contact, or posting the necessary legal language on physical email list sign-up forms.
What concerns do small businesses have?
When asked to share their biggest concerns about CASL, many reported feeling uncertain about what needs to be done to comply (44 percent).
Others reported feeling concerned about collecting express consent for existing lists of email contacts (41 percent) and managing/tracking email permissions from contacts (39 percent).
What impact will CASL have?
Many of those surveyed are still on the fence about the true impact CASL will have in the long run.
Most Canadian small businesses surveyed think CASL will be good for consumers and businesses but are less certain of the direct impact on their own businesses.
More than half (63 percent) think CASL will be good for consumers and 58 percent of businesses believe CASL will help mitigate spam.
Another 44 percent think CASL is good for businesses in general but when asked if they thought CASL would have a positive impact on their business, only 23 percent agreed, while 47 percent were neutral/had no opinion, 22 percent disagreed, and 8 percent did not know.
Getting educated is the first step to being CASL-compliant.
While it’s too soon to tell what the true impact of CASL will be, those that embrace a permission-based approach to marketing ultimately achieve stronger results.
All businesses that market to Canada need to be taking action to become CASL compliant at this point.
Constant Contact is here to help!
We have created a CASL Resource Center to help with that process. The resource center contains CASL tools and templates, CASL-focused videos and guides, recordings of webinars, and links to local educational events. We encourage all businesses concerned about CASL to check that out.
If you’re just starting your CASL preparation, make sure to check out our CASL Checklist, 3 Steps to CASL Compliance.
In addition, our products are designed to easily enable your compliance.
Need additional help? Call on of our specialists to review CASL and ensure you’re in compliance: 866-433-8499.