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Canada’s anti-spam law is hurting MSPs

This post talks about the effects Canada’s anti-spam law is having on MSPs and offers some options for managing the effects.

Canada's anti-spam lawFirst, we’ll tell you what it’s about.

The Canadian Government wants to cut down on the number of spam people receive. This is a good thing, right? However, the way they’ve gone about doing this is hurting businesses. CASL prohibits any commercial business from sending unsolicited online marketing communications (such as emails) to anyone. This law went into effect on July 14, 2014.

So, what happened? You guessed it. If you had an existing business (like an MSP) in Canada, the Canadian government just stuck it to you. Unless you have explicit consent and/or an existing business relationship, you can’t send marketing emails to your prospects.

So where does this start and end? If you get a business card at Chamber of Commerce event, does this mean you have explicit consent from this individual? You would assume so. However, this might not be. And, the fines are ridiculous — from to $200 per day to up to $1 million per violation!

So, what are your options?

You can certainly go back to costly paper-based mail where the Canadian government gets a big share of the postage money. Hmmmm!

Spam is one thing. But, if you can’t email invitations for a Webinar or Lunch and Learn event, your hands are tied. Plus, all the work you did to build your prospect email list is now worthless.

What to do?

Rethink your email marketing strategy. Stay tuned on this one. We have an article coming out soon that we’ll share with you.

The resurrection of the dead—old clients

Think about it. These folks were old clients for a reason. If you didn’t want to work with them a few years ago, you probably don’t want them back (they didn’t pay their bills, they were way too demanding, etc.).

Build a marketing campaign to bring back old clients you do want to work with (leave the others behind). Send a letter (or email if you’re in the U.S.) to them every three months. Include a survey or questions about why they left your business, or what you can do better to get their business.

Social media

It’s not about how many people you know, it’s how many people know you.

  • Hashtags are an easy way for people to find you. They’re being used for everything, including TV advertising. Twitter is especially popular for using hashtags. It will show you the popular hashtags for the day on the left side of your screen. It’s a good strategy to use to make it easy for folks to learn more about your business. Hashtags work on all the popular social-media platforms. Just check some out.
  • SnapChat is a lot more popular now, and getting increasingly popular. Keep this platform in mind for your marketing. And, of course videos are what folks love today. They can learn a lot from one of your quick 5-minute how-to videos. Consider including these in in your marketing strategy.
  • Facebook is “the bomb.” It’s the biggest social network platform today. Everyone is on Facebook. Consider utilizing Facebook advertising. Stream short videos and post helpful content to your Facebook Groups on a regular basis. Take advantage of Facebook Live. Put your time and effort where people are. Facebook is where they’re at!

Relationship activities

People need to get to know you, and not just your business.

Your prospects need to connect with you on more than a business level. Some suggestions: Hold a simple “pet adoption day” at your business site with the local animal adoption charity. This will bring in all the animal lovers. And everyone loves puppies and kitties! A “gaming day” to raise money for a local charity will show folks that you care about the community. These are all great strategies to include in your overall marketing plan. You can attract an entire new audience with this type of fun, promotional event. Remember, it’s not just about a quantity, but quality. Relationship activities take time, but they’re worth it.

By Stuart Crawford, Computer Dealer News

Occasional Contributors

In addition to our regular guest bloggers, Inside Internal Controls blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of risk management and best practices in finance and accounting, information technology, environmental issues, corporate governance, sales/marketing and operations, not-for-profits and business related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at editor@firstreference.com. If you liked this post and would like to subscribe to Inside Internal Controls blog click here.
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