Spam is a generic term used to describe electronic ‘junk mail’ – unwanted messages sent to a person’s email account or mobile phone.
Under the Spam Act 2003 it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The Act covers email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS (text and image-based mobile phone messaging) of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is responsible for regulating email and SMS usage and their website provides practical information and handy tips on how you can reduce and help to fight spam.
Have you asked yourself these questions?
- ‘Can I add a person’s email address or mobile telephone number to a marketing list if they have sent my business an email enquiry, or purchased from my website?’
- ‘Is my monthly e-newsletter a commercial electronic message under the Spam Act?’
- ‘I have recently purchased a business. Can I contact customers of the previous owners?’
- ‘How can I ensure I can prove I have sufficient consent to send messages?’
- ‘Can I send an electronic message to customers to obtain their consent to send messages in the future?’
- ‘Can I use a pre-ticked boxes to obtain consent to send marketing messages?’
- ‘If recipients don’t object or unsubscribe, can I assume I have consent?’
- ‘Can I contact people who have published their email address or mobile telephone number online?’
Ensure you don’t spam
E-marketing, whether in the form of email or SMS, is an excellent means of communicating with customers, and potential customers, in a manner that is both immediate and economical. When it’s done well, e-marketing is clear, innovative and impactful; however, when a business gets it wrong it can have a devastating effect on any business’ most important asset – its reputation.