e-mail marketing: good news

With the rapid emergence of digital, mobile and social channels available to marketers, e-mail marketing might sound like old-school digital, but the truth is that e-mail is actually a very efficient way to reach your members.

Kootenay Savings and Credit Union* couldn’t agree more. They wanted to find a way to engage their members and connect with their communities and saw e-mail as the ideal message-delivery and engagement platform.

Deb Melnyk, Manager of Advertising & Communications at Kootenay Savings tells us,

‘Email marketing is a pillar of our member engagement strategy. With CASL coming into effect, we wanted to take every opportunity to optimize a program before July and have a solid strategy that is linked to our brand.

We could have used an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution but we knew we needed more than a template. Our goal was to align our email marketing with other communication channels such as web and social, and have a distinct point of difference in our program, encouraging trust with members.’

Speaking of  CASL, while these regulations might seem limiting at first glance, they actually help credit unions like Kootenay Savings to revitalize email lists into a qualified group of members who are open to:

  • receiving offers
  • hearing about campaigns
  • connecting with you
  • reading about what you’re doing in their communities

Actually, the CASL requirements could make e-mail marketing one of your strongest marketing tools for communicating with current members. A current list of engaged and willing e-mail recipients makes it possible to:

  • personalize your messaging
  • improve segmentation
  • support other key digital delivery channels (web, mobile, social)
  • improve response tools

Come to our webinar on Wednesday, April 23rd to learn more and to see first-hand how Kootenay Savings and Credit Union is using email marketing to reach members, tell their own story and achieve their strategic goals.

*Kootenay Savings Credit Union, located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, is the twenty-ninth largest credit union in Canada with over 40,000 members and assets of $796 million.

CASL and your email marketing strategy

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) was passed into law in December 2010 and comes into effect July 1, 2014. With this deadline looming, many of our credit union clients have been asking how the new legislation could impact their email marketing strategies.

What’s the deal?

CASL is designed to reduce spam and prohibit phishing, malware and the other aggravations of the e-mail age. While there are many elements to CASL, this post focuses on the prohibition against sending commercial electronic messages (CEMS) without the recipient’s consent.

What’s a CEM?

CEMS include:

  • messages sent to email addresses, social networking accounts
  • text messages sent to a cell phone

What’s the point?

You can’t send CEMS to your members unless you can prove that they gave you permission (verbally, electronically or in writing) with a handful of clear exceptions. This legislation doesn’t mean you can never email a member who isn’t on your list, but you need to understand the circumstances and exceptions around how you communicate via email or text. Most importantly, for businesses (and credit unions) this means that any CEMS you send to your members must include:

  • defined content
  • an unsubscribe mechanism
  • contact information

What they’re saying on Parliament Hill

The Government of Canada tells us that as long as businesses follow a few simple rules, CASL isn’t going to fundamentally change an email marketing strategy:

“Legitimate businesses that use email to market their products to Canadians should not be negatively impacted by this law. The regime to allow for email marketing is based on a consumer opt-in approach, which stipulates that businesses must get consent prior to sending commercial email or have a preexisting business relationship with a consumer.”

There are some subtleties to the legislation, but essentially it mandates what have been best practices in e-mail marketing for a long time and that is to get consent before you send emails and make opting out crystal clear.

Will this be the death of your email marketing strategy?

No. It sure doesn’t have to be. Kootenay Savings and Credit Union is moving ahead with an exciting new email marketing strategy.  Come to our webinar on April 23rd to learn more.

What we’re doing

Our team has worked hard to digest this legislation for our clients. Come to our webinar on April 23rd to learn more about how to deliver compliant, creative, fun and engaging email marketing strategies.

Kristy Jahn-Smith, our CASL expert, will be attending an upcoming conference hosted by Calgary Economic Development. The conference will be presented by the law firm of Bennett Jones LLP and led by Martin Kratz Q.C., Head of Intellectual Property at Bennett Jones LLP and an internationally recognized lawyer who has more than 280 publications on intellectual property, technology law and related topics.