USING EMAIL FOR MARKETING AND ADVERTISING



Do you use email marketing for your start-up?

Does your business send commercial electronic messages?

Did you know that you need to comply with laws created to protect consumers?
 

One of the most effective marketing channels for start-ups today is email.  Using email marketing tools make it simple quick and easy for marketers to create a campaign, upload a list of contacts and send the email out.  However, it is vital to have a basic understanding of the laws around such marketing and which laws you need to comply with, such as the Spam Act 2003(Cth), before setting up an email marketing campaign. 

The Spam Act, which is a law applied across Australia, prohibits spam (unsolicited commercial electronic messages linked to Australian entities) from being sent out.  The law applies not only to commercial electronic messages sent from Australia but also for those sent from overseas on behalf of Australian businesses as well as any messages sent from overseas businesses to Australian recipients.

Commercial Electronic Message is defined by the Spam Act as a message:

  • offering, advertising or promoting the supply of goods, services, business, land or even investment opportunities; or
  • advertising or promoting the supplier of these goods, services, business, land or investment opportunities; or
  • helping individuals, dishonestly obtain property, commercial advantage or other gain from another individual.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Spam Act regulator, considers the content of a message and how it is presented to decide whether it is commercial in nature.  If a message has links, phone numbers or contact details leading to content with commercial purpose then this is considered a commercial message. 

Obtaining consent to use an email address, either inferred or express, is important when sending commercial electronic messages.  Sending commercial electronic messages without having such consent could lead to a breach of the Spam Act which could lead to fines.

Having clear headers and the email identified as advertising will ensure that the information in these fields is correct and not misleading or attempting to trick its recipients into opening the email campaign.  The idea is to ensure that the recipient is not purposefully being deceived. 

An unsubscribe option, which will allow the recipient to opt-out of receiving further emails from you in the future, should always be included in the commercial electronic message being sent. Recipient’s opt-out requests must always be free and honoured within 10 business days. 
 

Contact Allied Legal

Understanding and complying with the obligations established by the Spam Act is imperative to avoid receiving a fine. Allied Legal’s commercial and start-up lawyers can help guide you through the process and advice you on these and other issues.  We provide complimentary 30-minute initial consultations to help understand your needs.  Please contact us when you are ready to seek specialist advice: http://alliedlegal.com.au/contact/