What do CASL-Compliant SMS / Text Messages Look Like?
CASL, short for “Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation”, came into effect July 1, 2014, and was phased in over 3 years.
On July 1 2017, when the law took full effect, your customers and prospects gained the right of private action—the ability to sue you and your company for CASL violations, real OR perceived. CASL applies to digital media—email and SMS/text, although it can be applied to social media in certain contexts.
CASL is, according to some experts, the most restrictive anti-spam legislation in the world.
It is often ambiguous, and seems to be more focused on curtailing the efforts of genuine, well-meaning business owners than the real contributors to spam, who aren’t residents of Canada at all. Instead, they lurk overseas in countries where any sort of prosecution is considered a long shot at best, a huge joke at worst.
To make matters worse, the penalties are extreme! So I don’t need to tell you how important it is to adhere to CASL guidelines to avoid any potential legal liabilities.
So what does a CASL-compliant SMS / text look like?
According to the law, all text messages must include a “one-step” option to unsubscribe.
By “one step”, I mean that the customer does not have to take any additional steps after taking an action to remove herself from the database.
You can see that in the image below; “Reply STOP to end.”
By responding “STOP” the customer is immediately deleted from the database, and will receive only one additional message from us—one confirming her removal from the database.
CASL also requires that specific information be displayed to identify the sender of the message.
This includes a physical address and additional contact data.
Of course, since text messages are short, it’s not practical to include this message in the text, so CASL allows for that information to accessible via a web link.
You can also see this link just below: Info: TX3.ca/l (we use a link shortener and a 3 character domain to reduce character requirements as much as possible).
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a CASL-compliant message looks like…
An unsubscribe option. A link to identifying info.
CASL compliance is built into our message templates—there is nothing for you to do.
When you sign for our mass texting service (called BROADCASTsms), the first thing you do is provide us with CASL-required contact data.
When that you send a text message to your database of customers, we append all messages with CASL-mandated information and a custom shortened web link.
We then display business owner’s CASL-compliance identification information (on a mobile-responsive web page) to customers and prospects who click on this web link.
For example, here’s an example of what our demo/test account shows.
You’ll see it identifies us as the sender, and provides relevant contact data. If you scroll down further, help data is presented.
CASL-Compliant SMS: Working with U.S./American Providers
While our US-based competitors include “reply STOP to end” on their templates, there isn’t one that I know of that is fully CASL-compliant in that a link to the sender’s identifying information is also included.
It’s another great reason to stick with a Canadian service provider.
Click here to learn more about BROADCASTsms, our mass texting solution.