In Canada the recent Anti-Spam Law is causing concern for small businesses in Canada, but why? Since July 1, 2014 it has been illegal for commercial businesses to send emails or electronic correspondence (which can even be advertising within social media) to Canadians without their express permission to do so.
So, small businesses in the country can not promote their wares or services to an audience of “potential” customer any longer. This could have a detrimental effect on small businesses as they seek to expand their customer base and get new revenue. It's still OK to send a customer a newsletter or email if they have given consent or elected to opt-in on email correspondence.
In the months leading up to the July 1 deadline when the law kicked in, mailboxes in Canadian inboxes were being swarmed with ten times as many mailings than usual, all of which were from businesses asking the customers on their databases and correspondence lists if they would please opt-in to receive future mail shots.
The law is among the toughest on the planet but some observers are wondering how effective it will be – particularly if you count the number of spam mails you receive from countries like Nigeria and Russia which promise a healthy return of cash if you give some Prince and Princess in Lagos your bank account details, so they top up your account! It's hard to believe people still fall for that one but Canadian authorities will unduly have little power to stop this annoying tirade of email abuse.
The Anti-Spam law is going to make it difficult for small businesses to advertise for free online or through email mail shots and it's this method that has helped businesses in the past keep down overheads and costs. Ask any business how expensive advertising has been in the past, before the days of social media and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and they will tell you that free advertising has been a godsend and has boosted small business profits immeasurably.
Now small businesses in Canada will have to spend time (and no doubt money) on making sure its advertising methods do not break the stringent new laws relating anti-spam. They must now figure out how to do this properly, otherwise they could be facing a hefty fine – and believe you me, some of fines really are rather brutal if you blatantly infringe this law.