Heads Up! The New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is Here

CASL - The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

Just in time for Canada Day, the new CASL kicks into gear on July 1, 2014. Anyone who’s been adding email addresses to their newsletter lists from random sources has set their panic mode to “maximum”. That’s because the rules are changing and soon you will no longer be able to pad your email list with addresses from things like purchased lists.

If you’re a business or organization sending automated emails in Canada, to anyone in Canada, or to anyone who might read it in Canada, this will change how you do things. The fines for getting on the wrong side of this law are pretty exciting too: up to $10 million for a business.

The panic mode kind of makes sense now, doesn’t it? Luckily there’s a 3 year transition period during which implied consent is OK – more on that below. If you’ve been taking the high road, however, and already use a subscription system that uses an active opt-in, you’re more or less in the clear.

,    Leave a comment

4 Free Tools to Help With Personal Productivity

working remotely

It’s spring finally! The flowers are starting to pop up. It’s also time for many of us to begin the annual process of spring cleaning.

Why not do the same with your business information? Today I’m going to showcase four free tools (and one low cost tool) that I use daily to help me manage the information, to dos and obligations I have to my family, friends, businesses, organizations and myself.

When my eldest son was born, I knew I had to make some changes in my life and become more efficient if I wanted to have some semblance of a sane life. I also knew I needed to have access to information anywhere – home, the office, or on the road.

,    Leave a comment

The Heartbleed Easter Egg

Easter Egg

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you’re well aware of the Heartbleed virus and that over 60% of websites were affected by this virus.

I like to think of myself as an optimist and would like to explore this issue from a totally different perspective: the positive side. Yes, there is one!

These positive thoughts started to come to me as I was reviewing which passwords I needed to reset – for both myself and my clients. I probably had to update about 30 different personal accounts for everything from Gmail to Instagram, Netflix and MailChimp.

, , ,    Leave a comment

Heartbleed Complete List of Previously Vulnerable Sites

On April 3, 2014 Riku, Antti and Matti at Codenomicon and Neel Mehta of Google Security discovered a bug in OpenSSL. They immediately reported the bug to the NCSC-FI and the OpenSSL team. The internet has been flooded with speculation and multiple partial lists of vulnerable sites since then.

Our team at Envision have reviewed the various vulnerability lists to come up with a master list of sites that have been affected (and patched). It is highly recommended that you change your password for any of the sites below.

Please note that just because a site is on the list, it does not mean your personal information was necessarily vulnerable. Because the bug was reported to the industry before it became public knowledge, most of the patches were put in place before anyone had a chance to do anything bad. It pays to be careful – just in case.

   Leave a comment

The Real Reason Why Your Last Website Was a Failure

The real reason why your last website was a failure

One of the things I love doing at Envision is talking to prospective clients. I am fascinated by their businesses and organizations, and feel great when I am discovering ways to help them solve their website problems.

When we conduct prospective client meetings, we like to ask lots of questions – it’s almost like we’re doing an interview. We try to learn as much as we can about their project requirements, their expectations, their target audience and their reasons for making a change.

, , ,    Leave a comment

The 5-Step Website Spring Clean Up

website spring cleaning

Spring is finally here (except if you live in Ottawa)! Flowers are starting to come out, the weather is sunny and it’s a perfect time to do a clean up.

While you’re cleaning out all the mystery items you’ve been stuffing in the drawer all winter, why not add a reassessment of your website to your spring clean up list?

Here are five quick tests you can do kickstart the spring website cleaning season.

, , ,    Leave a comment

How To Turn Bad Reviews Into New Customers

turning bad online reviews into new customers

“Umm, I think you’d better take a look at this,” a team member says.

You go to their screen and read, and you can’t believe it. A customer has posted a hateful review of your business online. It’s utterly vicious, and you have to sit down because you feel like the nausea and fear are going to make you pass out.

Even if you don’t have an ecommerce store, you may find your business’ name popping up on Google Places, Yelp, Homestars, and dozens of customer review sites just like them.

, ,    Leave a comment

The Myth of the Fold

Myth of the Fold Study

I know there are still many believers out there who advocate for everything to be above the fold. I’m not saying that the fold should be ignored.

However, before you sit down with your designer and tell him/her to make sure everything fits above the fold, I recommend that you understand a little more about it.

, , ,    Leave a comment

Charisma: Get the “It” Factor Working For You

"The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane

There are a lot of important things that go in the leadership toolbox. Qualities like brilliant insight, superior strategic ability, and the willingness to stay in the trenches with your team will all earn trust and respect.

Some people, however, seem to effortlessly command attention – they have natural star power that makes people want to pay attention and follow their lead.

Charisma can make the difference between being heard and being ignored, and it’s an important quality that can save time, energy, and frustration. It’s a quality that many salespeople and executives seek. I believe it’s also an essential component of effective communication.

,    Leave a comment

The 5 Marketing Beliefs You Need to Succeed in 2014

the 5 marketing beliefs you need to succeed in 2014

Marketing, as we know it, has changed forever.

I know, it sucks. I remember a time when it all depended on your Yellow Pages ad. You would work your butt off to get that ad done just in time, then wait for the phone to ring – or not. The worst thing that could happen was giving your designer the wrong phone number (which one of my clients did).

It was obviously much simpler back then. Some of the more sophisticated businesses might even have marketing plans. These plans would itemize the five or six things they wanted to do over the year, like radio or newspaper ads.

Those days are gone. Marketing is different now, and your old beliefs need to change.

,    Leave a comment