New Email marketing rules for Canadian Realtors
Just when Canadian realtors were all set to bang out thousands of mass email messages to prospects this year as a major part of their 2011 marketing mix, the Canadian Government is passing legislation to make that sort of activity illegal. Canada is the last of the G20 nations to pass anti-spam legislation and Bill C28 means spammers will face stiff penalties for sending unsolicited messages. It’s long overdue yet still a shock for some realtors who look to email to generate a few sales from unsolicited email.
Now, realtors will need permission from prospects to receive the messages. That makes mass emailing much more difficult and will result in criminal charges against spammers. Working with email spammers could be a risky proposition for any real estate agent now.
Here’s a few of the new anti-spam email rules from Canada’s Bill C28:
1. You must get prospects permission and even former clients permission to send electronic messages to them.
2. You can send marketing emails to a client only up to 2 years following a real estate transaction and 6 months after an inquiry from a potential client.
3. With your current and former clients, a realtor can still send email or sms text messages to clients without their consent for three years. This is a transitional phase.
4. You must prove that you have the prospects consent and provide documentation to prove that the recipient had gien you consent to send messages to them.
5. You must explain to the prospect what your purpose is and what information you have to identify them.
6. Your email and SMS text messages must include your contact information, a link to unsubsribe or opt out of your mailing list.
7. You are allowed to follow up with your new contacts which you met at a networking functions or event, through email, as long as it is relevant to that person’s to the recipient’s business or interests.
8. You are not allowed to send messages or follow up on a referral unless the prospect expresses consent or they have an existing relationship with you.
9. There are hefty fines of up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for corporations and prospects could sue you privately.
The new rules will make email marketing much more difficult and result in realtors looking to other marketing vehicles to generate leads.
If email was a big part of your online marketing mix, start investigating other Internet Marketing vehicles and how you can build voluntary relationships with new prospects.