I met Alan Hoffman of CE-Credits a few weeks ago. He had invited me to give a presentation on email marketing and Canada’s Anti-Spam Law in Ottawa in front of a group of financial planning professionals.
Alan and his team provide continuing education for financial planners across Ontario, in-person or through webcast. Alan has been a financial planner himself for a long time, so he knows what this industry is all about!
Email marketing plays a major role in CE-Credits’ sales and marketing. Alan promotes his in-person training sessions by sending emails to targeted lists of financial professionals who work in the area in question. Those emails are one of the most effective ways to drive event registrations.
But that’s not all. Alan also teaches email marketing strategies to the professionals who attend his training sessions, as a way for them to grow their business and communicate effectively with their clients. All that to say that email marketing is dear to Alan’s heart and that he’s a strong advocate for it.
His email marketing tool of choice for years, the one he used and recommended, was Constant Contact. But since July 1st, 2017, Alan noticed that the results he was getting from his efforts were a fraction of what he used to get. In other words, his emails were resulting in very few event registrations, a lot less than before.
So he started to investigate and made a pretty shocking discovery. Constant Contact was now only sending his emails to a portion of his subscribers. Most of the intended recipients were simply not receiving his emails. And the worst part is that he wasn’t even made aware of that fact; no error message, no notification, nothing!
Obviously, Alan contacted Constant Contact to ask what was going on. This is his explanation of what he found out: “Basically, since July 1st, Constant Contact does not send out emails to contacts who are considered to have implied consent. They only send emails to contacts who are labelled as express consent in our account. That’s why they are now only sending our emails to a small portion of our list”.
Let’s back up a little and explain the difference between implied and express consent. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) talks about two different types of consent when it comes to sending commercial emails. These types of consent are called express consent and implied consent. Express consent is obtained when you explicitly ask the person for permission to send them emails and they agree. Implied consent takes place when some previous relationship exists between your organization and the person. For example, a business relationship between a client and your company.
In our opinion, Constant Contact is wrong in thinking that only express consent is valid. And, if that’s really what they’re doing, they are very wrong in sending emails only to contacts for whom their Canadian users have express consent. Implied consent is still acceptable, as long as the validity period is respected.
Let’s look at a very concrete example. Let’s say that a financial planner would like to send their monthly newsletter to their clients. Could they do so even if their clients haven’t explicitly give their consent? Yes, they can! Being a client constitutes a valid implied consent. Based on Alan’s experience, it seems like Constant Contact would make it very difficult to do so.
So, Alan started looking for an alternative to Constant Contact, and he found Cyberimpact. He liked the fact that we were a Canadian company and that our tool was made for easy CASL compliance (but would not prevent him from sending emails). He gave our tool a try and he was blown away by his results!
He recently sent us this quick note;
“Since we started using Cyberimpact 10 weeks ago, we’ve had more registrations than in the first 40 weeks of the year! I have a great reason to support Cyberimpact!”
In other words, the registrations for the events have multiplied by 4 since switching from Constant Contact to Cyberimpact. It’s crazy what happens when your emails are actually being sent, and received!
If you too would like to give Cyberimpact a try, click the button below to create an account for free.