Referrals, CASL-style

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Written By
Nicole Bulanda

According to a 2013 Deloitte survey, only 13 per cent of companies understand the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) requirements coming into force on July 1 and have begun applying them to their businesses. Thirteen per cent. That means 87 per cent of companies are unprepared for the sweeping changes to the way we communicate electronically that will take place in less than three months.  The time to research and get your company ready is NOW. Zywave Partners have a leg up on the competition with access to plain-language interpretations of the law. Our partners can also score major points with their clients by sharing the new 12-part CASL Compliance Toolkit available in Broker Briefcase.

However you are preparing yourself, I encourage you to do your research and embrace the change! At first, the new regulations will likely be difficult to adapt to. With guidance coming from three separate agencies, it’s going to be tricky to figure out what you need to do to be in compliance. Don’t lose sight of the fact that a big change like this provides an opportunity to emerge on top.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Einstein

Focus on referrals

Opportunity? You might think I’m crazy, but I definitely see opportunity peeking its head out from beneath all of the regulations. Specifically, I see opportunity in one exemption to sending commercial electronic messages: the third-party referral.

Here’s what the exemption allows you to do:

[Send] A single CEM to someone without consent, based on a third party’s referral, so long as the sender discloses the name of the person making the referral and so long as there is an existing business, non-business, personal or family relationship between the person making the referral and each of the sender and the recipient.

Why focus on referrals? Simple: They capture attention, and they provide credibility because they come from a source that has our best interests in mind. Almost every broker I speak with tells me they rely heavily on referrals to generate organic growth. If you want to improve your ability to get referrals, check out Dave O’Brien’s blog post “9 steps to drive growth with referrals.”

Turn one email into a conversation

Worried that a single email to a prospect will not be enough to win the account? It probably won’t be (but bonus points to you if it is). The purpose of the one freebie email is not to win the business, but to obtain consent to continue the conversation. Check out the message below. It follows a CASL-prescribed form for requesting express consent to communicate via CEMs.

Nicole March blog pic

Click on the image above to see an email that follows CASL – prescribed form for requesting express consent.

After July 1, CASL will limit the way you communicate with prospects. Referrals will become more important than ever. The third-party referral exemption grants you one shot to open the door to new business and gain consent to keep it open. Yes, CASL will add complexity to your prospecting efforts, but it will also bring opportunity. How will you respond?

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