So, July 1st, 2014 has come and gone.
Besides your inbox being inundated with requests to “stay connected”, has the spam stopped? Mine has, a bit. Though the guys in Kuala Lumpur didn’t get the CASL memo and are not following email marketing best practices.
I think there was a lot more made out of CASL than there should have been. From a “50,000-foot-view”, CASL is actually good for your businesses – what! That’s right, components of the legislation are good email marketing best practices that business should already be following.
Let me explain. Your business should always keep a cleaned and scrubbed email list (essentially, your prospecting list), this is an example of one of many good email marketing best practices. So, CASL actually forced your business to do what you should be doing anyway, “scrubbing” your email list (i.e. refining your prospect list).
Businesses have become lazy with email marketing because it is an affordable marketing channel; “whip” together some content and press “SEND”. The common pitfall is that businesses look at email marketing as a mass channel – yes, I know it is. However, if you actually view your email marketing strategy as a more focused strategy, by segmenting your list, your email campaign to 1000 segmented recipients will be more meaningful, with better results, than a campaign to a general list of 5000.
The truth is, a company with a strong marketing team is constantly “scrubbing” their contact lists and monitoring their sales funnels – so, CASL would have had minimal impact on them. These companies have being doing this all-along; the hype is all for nothing to these businesses.
The other interesting side-effect of this law is that I believe you’ll observe more phone calls and personal interaction. Cold-calling will probably increase.
Email Marketing Best Practices
In light of CASL, I want to outline some email marketing best practices that are fundamental for every company and marketing team.
1. Collecting email addresses
It is imperative that you collect your email addresses legitimately. Otherwise, your business will be in violation of CASL – and you will have ignored the whole purpose of this blog post!
2. Segment Your List and Customize Your Message
Industry Tradeshow sign-ups should be kept separately from, say, your website sign-up. Segmenting your list much more accurately allows you to create a more customized message and in turn, a better chance of engaging with your customer (a possible sale). It is also important to know at what stage in the decision-making process the recipient is in – this is key to converting an email recipient from a prospect to a sale. Isn’t that the purpose of marketing?
3. Don’t ignore the metrics
After every email campaign, your marketing team should always pay attention to the metrics of that campaign. The metrics are telling you who is opening your email, what are they reading, what emails are bouncing back. More importantly, you’ll be able to identify what recipients are more engaged than others and which recipients may warrant a follow-up of some sort (another email, phone call etc).
CASL is not all bad. It simply forces your marketing team to be more focused and get in-line with some good email marketing best practices.