An e-mail list is one of the most important and valuable assets to an online or bricks and mortar business.
When Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation came into effect in 2014, this had a chilling effect on the e-mail marketing efforts of many small businesses. Many business became afraid to send e-mails for fear of breaking this law. This legislation is federal and applies across Canada.
The general rule is that if you are sending “commercial electronic messages” which include e-mails, you need the consent of the recipient of the message. Whenever you can get this express written consent from a client or prospect, you should record it and store it. This could include having them check a box electronically on a website, or on paper ballots or contest entries.
The good news for small businesses is that there are several useful exceptions where you have implied consent if you have not obtained express consent (permission in writing). These will help you to grow your e-mail list without being “spammy” or violating the law.
Whatever the type of consent, the onus is on the company sending the e-mail that the business has consent.
The business also has to identify itself (including address) and provide an unsubscribe option. This is best done using an e-mail marketing application such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, Drip etc.
For further information on this topic, you can check out the FightSpam website. Happy List Building!