Third-party emails | ACMA

Third-party emails

I want to send commercial electronic messages for someone else. What do I need to know?

As the sender of the message, you need to be aware of your obligations under the Spam Act as you may be found responsible for any contraventions that may occur. This means you must ensure you are aware of the consent being relied upon to send the messages, include accurate sender identification for your client (the message authoriser) and an unsubscribe facility.

When your client has supplied a list of electronic addresses (for example, email addresses or mobile telephone numbers)

To ensure that you do not breach the Spam Act when sending messages for someone else, you should take steps to ensure that consent exists for the use of addresses in any marketing list provided. While the person/business that caused the message to be sent is legally responsible for proving that consent exists, you (as the message sender) are also legally responsible if consent has not been obtained.

If you are using a marketing list provided by your client, you should ensure that all unsubscribe requests you receive are updated on the client's marketing list.

When you are supplying a list of electronic addresses to your client

If you are providing a marketing list to be used when you send messages on behalf of your client (the message authoriser), you should ensure you have consent, and notify the client of this consent before messages are sent.

When you have sourced a list of electronic addresses from a third party for your client

Again, you need to ensure you have consent to send messages. More information is available under purchasing a marketing list.

As a message sender, you can be found liable for a breach of the Spam Act, even though you are not the authoriser of the message, so it is important to understand your obligations. Ensure that unsubscribe facilities are tested regularly and functioning correctly. You may find it convenient to include Spam Act compliance measures within contracts and agreements with customers and offer this as part of your service.

Record-keeping is very important for all message senders, including when you send messages for someone else.

Premium SMS messages must also be sent in compliance with the Mobile Premium Services Code.

Can I engage an organisation to send commercial electronic messages promoting my business?

As the authoriser of the message, you need to be aware of your obligations under the Spam Act as you may be found responsible for any contraventions that may occur.

If you wish to use another organisation to send commercial electronic messages on your behalf, investigate the organisation's methods of ensuring Spam Act compliance before engaging it. You must ensure that you have consent to send messages to the message recipients before sending messages. The third party should not send the message unless this consent exists. In addition, the third party must:

  • include clear and accurate identifying information about you in all messages; and
  • provide an unsubscribe facility that will effectively unsubscribe message recipients from your database or a list you have provided.

When you have supplied a list of electronic addresses to your contractor

To avoid breaching the Spam Act, all message senders take steps to ensure that consent exists before using a marketing list. More information about sending messages is available in common questions about marketing activities. As the message authoriser, you are legally responsible for proving that consent exists, but your contractor can also be implicated by causing the message to be sent. Ensure your contractor is aware of their obligations under the Spam Act and that all unsubscribe requests are fed back to your database.

When you are using a list of electronic addresses provided by your contractor

In these circumstances, it is very important that you are aware of the consents that are being relied upon. It is not sufficient to assume that the contractor has consent because they provided you with a list, you should gain a clear understanding of where the list was sourced from, how account-holder details were obtained, and the means by which consents were given.

When you have sourced a list of electronic addresses from a third party

Again, you need to ensure you have consent to send messages. More information is available under purchasing a marketing list.

See also:

Last updated: 15 May 2017