Increasing the awareness of your business in the marketplace is essential for its growth. E-marketing can be a simple and effective means of achieving this, but we at the ACMA are often baffled by the fact that many businesses get this wrong, by simply not telling a customer who they are and how to contact them. While it’s great to think outside the box with marketing, if the message is getting lost, because a person doesn’t know who you are, then you’ve got to ask yourself, what’s the point?
“I don’t know who XYZ are, and there’s no number to call them on in the SMS.”
Clear sender identification—what does this mean?
Clear sender identification means having enough information in a message, so that your business can be easily identified (the name of your business) and contacted (phone number, email or address) from the information contained in, or linked to, the message.
- Even if you get another company to send your messages for you, as the authoriser of the message, your details need to be included.
- Your details need to be obvious to anyone, even if they’re not your customer. Telling a person why information has been included can help with this. For example, instead of just including ‘MyBiz’ or ‘0429999888’, add ‘Sent by MyBiz’ or ‘contact 0429999888’.
Email sender identification—how can I comply?
In an email, you have plenty of space to tell people all about your business, and what’s currently happening—this should include who your business is, which is where sender identification comes in. There should be no doubt in a person’s mind about who the message is from; this makes the addition of unique details, like your Australian Business Number (ABN), a good idea.
In an email, you should think about including your:
- business or trading name
- Australian Company Name (ACN), ABN, or registered business number
- street or postal address
- phone number or email address.
SMS sender identification—how do I get it right?
SMS messages provide more of a challenge, as you want to make the 160 characters in an SMS message work for you. Remember, it is a sound investment to get this right, as you want to excite your audience about your business and not lose them because they don’t know who you are.
If you’re considering using an abbreviation of your business name to save characters, you still need to ensure that when your message is received, the person who receives it will know exactly who sent it, even if the message goes to a person who is not a customer of your business.
In an SMS message, you should think about including:
- a ‘from’ business name or trading name
- an ‘info’ or ‘contact’ email address, or a telephone number.
“The text is from a pub I think, but I couldn’t tell you which one.”
Can I use the phone number or email address in the unsubscribe facility for the contact information?
If the unsubscribe facility in your message includes an email address or phone number and this email address or phone number will be answered, then it can probably be used for both. But it needs to be clear to the person who receives it that this is the purpose of the information. For example, in an SMS, you might say ‘Info & unsub call 1300855180′.
Can I use a web address for my contact information?
If the web address you want to use links directly to a page that contains contact information for your business, such as a phone number or email address, then this can likely be used as contact information.
If a person has to find these details on your website, then not only will you not comply with the Spam Act, you could also damage your reputation by annoying the very people you are trying to attract to your business.
“I don’t know who these people are, or why they are sending messages to me, I just want them to stop!”
E-marketing shouldn’t be difficult. Make it easy for yourself and your audience by including clear sender identification. To make sure your business’s message is being heard, you should:
- Ask someone who is not familiar with your business to review the text for you, to see if they can easily identify who the message is from, and how your business can be contacted.
- Add unique identifying information where possible to make your business’s identity clear.
- Make sure the phone number or email address included in the message is being answered by someone in your business.