What does the new Anti-SPAM legislation mean for Business Development Managers?

As a Business Development professional, you have a database of clients, prospects and leads upon which you rely to meet your sales targets and quotas. After July 1st, there will be limitations and timelines on your ability to email anyone on your database without their explicit consent.

Have you begun to work on developing your CASL Compliant Sales Plan for meeting your sales targets? Read on to educate yourself on what the new CAS Legislation means for Business Development in Canada.

The first change to consider is that there will be consent required to email your database. The new law defines three types: implied, implicit and explicit consent.  The new legislation also places timelines on each of these.

Implied consent exists when there is an existing business or non-business relationship. This consent is valid if the recipient has conspicuously published their electronic address, unless they’ve added a message that they do not wish to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages. There is also implied consent where the information is relevant to their business role, business duties or their official capacity.

Outside of these parameters, Sales and Marketing professionals must work with implicit and explicit consent. Implicit consent has been defined in the legislation as an existing relationship, either business or non-business. You have implicit consent to send electronic messages to clients, or to anyone who has given you his email address, given you his business card with his email address, or has published his email address on his web site or in an email to you, unless he has “unsubscribed” from receiving these messages.  Explicit permission is received when the recipient of the electronic message has been fully informed of what he is giving consent to, and has given his consent. Once the new legislation is introduced you will also have a defined timeline in which to convert this “implicit” to “explicit” consent.  

Currently (and until July 1, 2016), the CRTC would view your customers as having provided implicit consent to your email communications as there is a business relationship in place. However after two years customers will have to provide explicit consent for you to be able to continue to email them.

What permissions do you have from your business prospects and business leads? If they have provided their business card to you, then you have implicit permission to communicate with them over email with a 6-month window. During this timeline, you must convert them from “implicit” to “explicit” permission to continue to communicate after the six-month period.

If a lead does not give you their contact info then you cannot communicate with them. Many lists will no longer be usable.

There are some exceptions, and here they are:

  • You have been requested to send a quote or estimate
  • You have facilitated, completed or confirmed an agreed upon commercial transaction with the other party
  • There is product information pertaining to warranty, product recall, safety or security information concerning a product or service that the message recipient has purchased
  • There is an ongoing subscription or membership, or there is account information (a bank, a school, employer, or other service provider)
  • You are a telecommunications service provider because you are providing the message transmission service.
  • There is an interactive 2-way communication between two individuals, a fax, or phone voice message.

All of your clients, prospects, leads will be affected by this new legislation. Sales and marketing professionals and organizations must think through the significant impact on their selling activities and have new approaches in place soon. This new legislation will impact your ability to meet your targets and your income this year could be affected if you don’t consider how you will adapt to the new legislation. Don’t get left behind!