Small business: keeping a list of who’s naughty or nice

DeathtoStock_Medium9-resized-with-wordsWhat is the small business version of the naughty or nice list? A customer database. As you may know, the government expects you to keep a naughty or nice list of your customers: a list, database, CRM or other customer engagement software. We are referring to Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL).

Small businesses do not consider themselves to be spammers, of course. However, in the spirit of season’s greetings and to maximize spreading joy to your business, consider following a few tips:

  • Keep a record of your communication
    If you obtained a business card or any type of contact information personally, or you’ve conducted business with someone within the last two years prior to 2017, keep a record. This ensures you have the opportunity to provide a special deal to your customer or potential customer, while keeping in compliance with CASL. If this is an important deal, ensure you call the individual or follow up immediately, while the memory of your interaction is fresh.
  • Identify your naughty list
    Although you wish to promote your business to all your past customers, be sure they do want to hear from you. Maintain an up-to-date list of those who have chosen to subscribe and those who have opted out from your newsletters or promotions. There is nothing worse than annoying a potential customer, as it will be harder to regain their trust; plus your messages may be in contravention of the CASL rules.
  • Keeping control 
    There are many options, software, and programs of which to take advantage to help you with your email campaigns. Before you do so, ensure that your email provider has two important main functions:

    • Method of unsubscribing to your emails
    • Method to provide proof of opt-in or opt-out opportunities
  • Give your customer options
    Customers these days enjoy choosing which communication they wish to receive. For this reason, allow your customers to select which communication they prefer, such as a newsletter, promotions/coupons, or updates. Of course, allow them to choose the frequency – daily, weekly, monthly or another frequency. Giving options to your customers helps to identify their preferences, as well.

‘Tis the season to be jolly,’ which is yet another opportunity to connect with your target market, introduce your product/service, and obtain explicit consent from your market to keep in contact with them in future. If you encounter a Grinch (a customer who doesn’t wish to connect with you), do not let your holiday spirit dim! Just keep giving your customers your complete attention and appreciate what they have done for you throughout the year.



Watch CFIB’s online webinar on CASL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s