This is the second story in a series of articles, which will look at different software solutions to help marketers comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). While CASL came into force on July 1, marketers still have a three-year transition period, giving them the chance to convince their customers to give their express consent to receive commercial electronic messages.
Head on over here to see the first story in the series, featuring Envoke.com’s solution.
For Toronto-based Elite Email Inc., CASL has been a concern for a while – and the company had been keeping its eye on the legislation months before its enforcement date had been announced.
So before the July 1 date came and went, many of Elite Email’s CASL-compliant tools have already been prebaked into the software itself, said company president Robert Burko.
“A lot of our clients are ahead of the curve,” he said. While CASL is a lot of extra work for Canadian marketers, he said it does help with doing more targeted, effective marketing.
“I’ve said this a million times. A lot of marketers get hung up on how many emails they’re sending everyday. But what matters is how many people engage. If you send 10,000 emails, it doesn’t matter if no one opens them. It’s a tree falling in the woods,” Burko said. He added since CASL went into force, many of his customers have found their lists much smaller, but their level of engagement has been a lot higher.
Here’s a quick look at what Elite Email is offering marketers seeking to comply with CASL:
- Visibility across databases, lists, reports, etc. showing addresses that have given implied and express consent:
When a marketer goes to look at his or her email list, he or she sees a list of contacts, with little green words next to their names. It separates contacts into “active” and “active confirmed” – active meaning contact has given implied consent, active confirmed meaning the contact has given express consent. This system is layered into everything a marketer uses to manage his or her contacts, from list management to scheduled emails to reports.
- Online sign-up forms, embedded confirmation requests, and confirmation emails:
To help marketers obtain consent from their customers, Elite Email has set up several templates, similar to what other companies have done in their CASL solutions. With online sign-up forms for newsletters, confirmation emails going to customers who have only given implied consent so far, and confirmation requests embedded into all outgoing emails, there are tons of ways to ask for consent. Elite Email also documents all of these confirmations of express consent by capturing data on the date, time, IP address, at the time of the confirmation of express consent.
However, one thing Burko has pointed out is that sending out an email blast asking for express consent hasn’t really been effective – especially when every other marketer had been doing it around CASL’s July 1 enforcement date.
“We noticed in June that if everyone asks for consent in emails, there’s no value to the recipient. Like they’re asking for something, but there’s no value in return,” Burko said.
He said the best way to give value to customers is to give them good content in a company newsletter, and to drop links into those newsletters to encourage them to give express consent. Once they do that, Elite Email will update their status to “active confirmed.”
- Cross-channel marketing:
Compared to some of the other companies featured in this series, what’s unique about Elite Email is it offers a cross-channel strategy for SMS-based marketing. What’s been really popular is offering deals – for example, a restaurant giving away free garlic bread – to any customer who texts a number. The customer then gives both their mobile number and email address and opts into express consent list. This strategy has fuelled growth, Burko said.
He added while text message marketing has taken off in the U.S., Elite Email’s Canadian customers had been slower to adopt it. Now with CASL in place, they’re finding it much more attractive.
Elite Email is very focused on educating users – sales reps are readily available to help explain CASL to customers, Burko says. The company also released a downloadable e-book called the CASL Survival Guide back in March.
- Managing a company’s CASL compliance:
Elite Email also offers a premium service where its team will go onsite, help a company figure out its lists, and bring everything up to scratch so the company becomes CASL-compliant. Pricing for this agency service depends on the size of the company and the project, Burko said.
For pricing on Elite Email’s email marketing solution, head on over here. All of the new CASL-compliant features are included in current pricing, Burko said.