Email marketing laws

When using an email marketing service for your business, it is important to ensure you are complying with Australian email marketing laws.

The Spam Act 2003 (Cth) governs email marketing and messages sent via SMS, MMS and instant message in Australia. The Act covers three main rules: consent, identification and unsubscribe options.

To send a commercial electronic message, i.e., one that offers, advertises or promotes the supply of goods or services, you must have consent from the recipient. Consent must be either:
Express consent: the recipient has deliberately opted in to receive emails from you.
Inferred consent: this refers to the relationship between the sender and the recipient. For example, if a recipient has subscribed to a magazine, it can be inferred that the recipient may wish to receive promotional material from the same magazine.

The sender of the communication (email, SMS, MMS, instant message) must identify themselves and provide accurate contact information, i.e., legal name of the business and ABN. The information provided must remain correct and valid for at least 30 days after the message is sent.

There must be an unsubscribe option for emails or an option to opt out of other electronic messages, e.g., SMS or MMS. Businesses must ensure the recipient is unsubscribed within 5 business days of receiving the unsubscribe request.

Businesses should be aware that purely factual messages are exempt from the Spam Act, i.e., emails that provide a price, quote or product description to a customer.

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