Recently I hosted a webinar regarding the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation and we had some fantastic questions – and there is one I just have to share:

Q: When verbally collecting email addresses at a POS from our customers, does this count as Deemed or Implied consent?

A: It comes down to how the question is asked and the information about your email program that is shared by the Customer Service Representative.

For a consistent message across all of your locations I’d recommend placing a 5X7 informational note, on each cash register, that provides the high level benefits from joining the email program and clearly explains the consent level you are collecting from your customers.

By putting this in writing you eliminate the risk that a CSR forgets to explain your email program, or they just being too lazy to explain the program.

Example text for a 5X7 card:

By providing your email address we will send you messages that may include:

  • Sales, coupons, product recalls etc (business/location specific information)
  • With a Monthly/Weekly/Daily (?) frequency
  • You get a free gift with valid email address
  • Other relevant text

By providing your email you are providing express consent to receive these messages, you can stop these at any time by using the unsubscribe included in each email message.

This will give you express consent and eliminate the 2 year expiry on permission. Be sure to record in your data base the date and time as well as the store location (store ID #) for future should you need to retrieve this information.

Ideally you will tie the collection of this information to a quick to send ‘Welcome’ program. Take Apple store for example, they have the ability to send eReceipts almost instantly to customers, being close to this style would be ideal for promotional email Welcome messages after a POS email collection.

But remember to clearly ask for permission to send additional emails and gain express consent from consumers – otherwise, like in the Apple eReciept scenario, you may have to deal with the deemed “Prior Business Relationship” under deemed consent which holds a 2 year expiry.

* These recommendations are based on my best understanding of the law and are not legal advice, please consult your own counsel