If you followed the link on our Facebook page to the BDC article on Anti-spam legislation coming into effect in two weeks, you may be wondering what that means for your business and whether you have to change anything to be compliant with the legislation. (Well it turns out the changes have been suspended but good email etiquette still applies!)
The good news is – most small business owners have nothing to worry about because they are not sending unsolicited mail to customers who have not been in touch in over two years. That’s what spam really is, unsolicited commercial mail. The difference between spam mail and business email is simply consent and the ability of the consumer to stop the communications.
I can say that with confidence because I wrote my first article on spam compliance back in 2005! The article was inspired by a popular online marketer who was shut down for emails his affiliates sent (not even ones he sent himself but ones that other people sent promoting his product!) that were not spam compliant with the US legislation of 2004. For those who check out the archived link, you’ll not that the Canadian legislation is called CASL and the US legislation is called CAN-SPAM.
So if a prospect sends you an email asking about a product, it’s perfectly legal to continue the conversation about that product – it is not legal or acceptable to add them to a bulk mailing list without further permission being granted.The proposed (now suspended) changes are simply a new limit on the implied consent that comes through purchases and inquiries.
The number one thing you need to do is set up your email signature in your business email with your full contact information, if you have not already done so. That way anyone who doesn’t want you emailing anymore simply has to contact you to stop the emails. This works for those who conduct all their email transactions through an email account with no automation. This provides the opt-out that has been part of the anti-spam initiatives in Canada for the 20 years I’ve been dabbling online.
For those who have an email list (and those who follow modern marketing best practices really, really should!) you’ll want to make sure it is double-opt in and that you’re very clear in any opt-in invitations that they will be added to your commercial contact list. This is easy to do with most mailing list service providers, including the two I recommend most (Mailchimp and ConvertKit).
Don’t let the new legislation keep you from jumping in to start building a list for your small business. It really is one of the most amazing, powerful and inexpensive tools you can use to promote your business and share your passion. And anti-spam legislations is just common sense that had to be legislated because spammers are scammers and rules make it easier to identify the creeps. Just be respectful of your readers time and interests and you won’t go wrong with your email marketing.
Want to learn more about marketing your small business? Sign up below for the occasional email newsletter known as Futurescape below.
Are you having a lag in productivity? Does your workforce seem stressed out and in need of a mental boost? You may be considering hiring a motivational speaker to come put some of that zip and drive back into your employees.
Motivational speakers are people who are paid to come speak at your work. You may use them just on their own, or as the key note speaker for a conference or team-building workshop. They can be someone who has succeeded in business athletics or some other field, someone famous, or someone who is just really good at getting the best out of people.
If you find the right speaker, you will see a marked improvement not only in performance but also in general morale. Instead of sitting around the water cooler gossiping or complaining about work and family, they’ll be talking about they’ve learned, coming up with new ideas, and lighting a fire under each other to get more accomplished.
In order to get the most out of a motivational speech, you need to find a speaker that meets the needs of your company or workforce. While there are some problems that show up in almost every work environment, each workplace is unique. If your workers are having problems because they aren’t working together, a speaker talking about finding motivation isn’t going to help much. You have to tailor your solution to your problems.
In addition to increasing the productivity and morale of your workforce, if used properly, motivational speakers can also help promote your company and encourage new hires to want to come aboard. Often you can take speakers and use their speeches for recruiting videos, and even as training videos for new hires. They can also be used in materials for potential investors to show how you motivate your workers and emphasize your company philosophy. Of course, use of the speech is something you need to check on with your potential speakers before you hire them.
The biggest con of hiring a motivational speaker at work is probably the money. Depending on who you hire to come in, speakers’ fees can go from reasonable to astronomical. Not only will you have to pay their fees and sometimes expenses, you will also lose profit from lack of working during their speech. And no speaker is going to guarantee a rise in productivity or profits after they’ve made their speech.
Even if a speaker does motivate your workforce and raise productivity, it’s probably not going to last forever. The luster of a speech fades with time. If you want to keep the boost going, you’re going to have to make a plan to continually remind people of the speaker (and this is hit and miss on whether it will work).
If you put thought and effort behind it, choose an appropriate speaker, and back up their presentation with further learning and support, you’re probably going to notice a big difference in your workers, and in your company as a whole.
If you are thinking about hiring a speaker for your business or service organization, consider our in-house speaker, Patrysha from Community Futures Yellowhead East. She’d be happy to create and deliver a presentation for your workspace on topics including customer service, personal growth, increasing tips and other relevant topics.