Anti-Spam Laws Creating Marketing Headaches for Publishers

Sep 10, 2014

On July 1, 2014, new Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL) came into effect that restricts the use of email, text messages, and instant messages for commercial purposes. Businesses now need consent to send electronic commercial messages to individuals. Two months in, Canadian publishers are saying CASL is affecting their direct sales and marketing efforts.

Photo courtesy Yoel, Morguefile

It has reduced the size of their customer email lists and is restricting their ability to contact bulk sales customers (typically organizations who purchase a significant number of books on a non-returnable basis). It’s also making their data management more challenging and putting a strain on their marketing departments. Most notably, there’s a tremendous amount of confusion around how to interpret CASL and what constitutes legitimate email outreach.

We wrote about the issue in an Expert Blog post for Digital Book World, “New Anti-Spam Laws Throw Canadian Publishers Into a Tailspin.” The same concerns are relevant to self-publishers, and give yet more reason for them to build legitimate email lists long before their books are published