July 1st was a day of celebration in Canada for many. While many know this day as a day of national pride, those in business will remember this specific July 1st for a much different reason.
Consumers across the country are celebrating as the spam war finally met its match with the new CASL anti-spam law.
No more wasteful hours filtering through spam in your inbox, or unsubscribing to the countless marketing lists the origin of which you have no recollection. A day many thought would never arrive has and your inbox has gotten a fresh slate.
While many individuals rejoice of the new CASL anti-spam law, businesses on the other hand are having panic attacks. Their marketing strategies, consumer lists and all that they have learned over the past years in consumer relations is being turned upside down. People are claiming CASL will be the end for small businesses across the country.
While I am no expert in this specific case, I have come to learn of CASL from both the perspective of the individual and small business.
As an individual I must admit, it was a breath of fresh air to finally see my inbox shrink as the many subscriptions my email had accumulated over the years finally came to an end.
As an entrepreneur leading several start-ups, however the true realities and restrictions of CASL became apparent.
The law is certainly strict and limiting; however with every roadblock there are some silver linings....even when it comes to CASL. The reality is CASL is not going away, so here are some insights you may want to consider:
- Get a step up on larger competitors -- Before now, small businesses have had to compete with established competitors who have spent years building their email databases. While CASL may not completely shrink these lists, it will certainly knock it down a few hundred or thousand and give you a fair chance to catch up or get an edge.
- New partnership opportunities -- With CASL cracking down, small businesses are affected but also are brands. Brands are just as concerned about the new regulations and loss of a good chunk of their marketing databases. If you have a product, service or opportunity that can help a brand re-grow and expand their marketing database, you will have the attention of partners who otherwise may have been too big or established to care.
- Customer Service & Client Relations are TOP priority -- One loop hole many have learned about CASL is the referral allowance. If you are referred by colleagues to a new customer you may email them. As such keeping strong, positive relationships with your current databases are the upmost importance. Improving customer experience and keeping them happy has never been more critical.
- Time to Get Social -- According to CASL you need to keep record of consent of your contacts which includes business cards. While networking may have been at the bottom of your to do list, you may want to break out your ties or little black dresses again. Networking can be a great way to rebuild your list and contacts.
- Dig up your thinking caps -- Email marketing has been a crutch for many businesses as the be all, end all for outreach strategies. Many who relied purely on these traditional marketing channels are going into shock mode and need to reassess their entire strategies. If your business has entertained innovative marketing tactics beyond traditional email marketing, you will be one step ahead of the market. If you haven't yet, no reason to fear, you are just being challenged to be a bit more creative.
- Keep an eye on the trade show market -- While most businesses are facing marketing setbacks, one industry that should be all smiles is the trade show and event sector. One way to rebuild your marketing database is by face-to-face interactions and recruitment. Trade shows and events are a quick solution to find mass groups of target customers or clients for your business.
On a road trip there is not only one way to get to your destination. You may be comfortable and have the highway route memorized but there are other ways. CASL is a roadblock for marketers on their favourite highway. What this means to your business is you need to find detours and back roads. It may take you a little longer than planned but you can still reach your final destination. Who knows along your detour, you may discover a scenic route you would not have otherwise found that adds value to your passengers.
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