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The anti-spam opportunity

The Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) aims to insure Canadians are only receiving email marketing that they have asked for. There are two forms of consent: implied and implicit.

The Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) aims to insure Canadians are only receiving email marketing that they have asked for. Translation: less Viagra ads and more deals from businesses you actually shop at. It does this by requiring consent before you deliver email messages to your customers. There are two forms of consent: implied and implicit.

Implied Consent

Implied consent is when a customer gives you their email as part of a business transaction without explicitly being told that it is for marketing purposes. This type of consent is okay for up to 3 months after the transaction. During this time, you will want to turn the implied consent into implicit consent by asking them to stay on your mailing list. This gives you some time to develop a relationship with that customer, which increasing your odds of converting them into a subscriber.

Implicit Consent

Implicit consent means that you have received specific permission from the customer to use their email for marketing purposes. Implicit consent is an opt-in process, meaning that customers cannot be required to uncheck a box to not receive emails or anything along that vein. Rather, customers must physically check a box or sign up to the list.

Making sure your email is compliant

Software like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact easily take care of these items for you.

Overall, this is a positive change for both businesses and consumers. The anti-spam law creates an opportunity for businesses to re-evaluate how, when and why they connect with customers and work towards developing more effective and meaningful campaigns.


If you are sending out your email to 1,000 people and only 10% are clicking on it, you have 900 people this was junk to. Compound this with all the other businesses that are doing to the same thing, and consumers are left with an overwhelming amount in their inboxes. This means that a lot of marketing messages that people actually care about are going to get lost in the shuffle. When people are only receiving messages that they have opted into, they are more likely to read a higher percent of them and act on those emails. This is the difference between quantity leads and quality ones.


Establish yourself as the expert
Providing your customers with industry specific information that only you can provide, is a surefire way to grow your subscriber list and customer base. This also serves to reinforce you (and your company) as the trusted source for the product/service you sell.
An “expert” email message should be between 300 and 500 words and ideally link to your blog rather than displaying in full on the email. These messages should be written in a professional tone, using proper grammar. This does not mean that you can’t have some fun and speak to your customers conversationally – it just means they should be crafted putting your best foot forward.
When appropriate, the use of images, diagrams and subheads is great way to break up the content, making it easier to absorb.

What’s the big email deal?
Email offers are most successful when the offer is perceived as high value. High value can be anything from free with purchase, a high dollar amount off, or a high percentage amount off. There are some great ways to achieve this perceived high value by using some creative math. For example, if you sell fridges and the average fridge price is $2,000, then 10% off a fridge may not be perceived as high value. However, if it is framed as $200 gift certificate towards the purchase of a fridge, it feels like they are loosing money not using it.

Email lists
It is also important to keep in mind that every email may not be meaningful to every customer. This is where email lists come in. Email lists allow you to create email groups, so you can send emails of a certain topic to the corresponding group and allow them to opt in to only those they would like to receive. Well formulated email lists help increase your overall subscribers and open rates.
For example, a plumbing and fixture store could have three different lists. One for professional advice on DIY installations, one for sales and promotions, and another for design trends. Being able target customers based on these wants, insures better market penetration and becoming top of mind.

How to track meaningful messages
Tracking the success (or failure) of your email campaigns is vital to your continued success as an email marketer. Using software like Mail Chimp will give you access to rich analytics like open rates, tracking which customers open a high percentage of your mail outs, peak times for opening and any links that get clicked in the email. This type of data is hugely beneficial to gaining insights into your customers’ preferences, allowing you to calibrate as you go and develop better and better messaging.

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