How to comply
If you plan to send marketing messages or emails, you must first have permission from the person who will receive them.
Even if someone else is sending out your marketing messages for you, you must still have permission from each person who will receive your messages.
After you get permission, you must ensure your message:
There are two types of permission:
A person who gives express permission knows and accepts that they will receive marketing emails or messages from you.
People can give express permission by one of the following:
- filling in a form
- ticking a box on a website
- over the phone
- face to face
You cannot send an electronic message to ask for permission, because this is a marketing message.
Keep a record when a person gives express permission, including who gave the permission and how.
Under the Act, it's up to you to prove that you got a person's permission.
You may infer that you have permission to send marketing messages if the recipient has knowingly and directly given their address and it is reasonable to believe they would expect to receive marketing from your business.
This is usually when a person has a provable, ongoing relationship with your business, and the marketing is directly related to that relationship.
For example, if someone has subscribed to a service, has an account or is a member, and the marketing is relevant to the relationship.
It does not cover sending messages after someone has just bought something from your business.
Use of contact-tracing information
Is your business keeping customer records for COVID contact-tracing?
Remember that any phone numbers and email addresses you get for this reason cannot be used for marketing. You may face serious penalties for misusing this information.
Know your responsibilities for email lists
Take care when you buy or use a marketing list.
You are still responsible for making sure you have permission for any addresses you use.
Identify yourself as the sender
In your message, you must:
- accurately identify your name or business name
- include correct contact details for you or your business
If someone else sends messages on your behalf, the message must still identify you as the business that authorised the message. Use the correct legal name of your business, or your name and Australian Business Number (ABN).
This information must remain correct for at least 30 days after you send the message.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
You need to make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your electronic mailing lists.
Under the Spam Act, every commercial message must contain an 'unsubscribe' option that:
- presents unsubscribe instructions clearly
- honours a request to unsubscribe within 5 working days
- does not require the payment of a fee
- does not cost more than the usual amount for using the address (such as a standard text charge)
- is functional for at least 30 days after you sent the message
You cannot force people to give extra personal information or make them create or log into an account to unsubscribe from marketing messages.
Unsubscribe examples that are clearly worded
To stop receiving messages from us, simply reply to this email with 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.
If you no longer wish to receive these messages, please click the 'unsubscribe' button below.
Other actions that may break the spam rules
Under the Spam Act, you cannot:
- use or supply a list that has been created with address-harvesting software
- use or supply address-harvesting software
It is also against the spam rules to:
- help, guide or work with another person to break the spam rules
- encourage another person to break the spam rules
- be directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned with breaking the spam rules
Ask for or provide information
If you or someone else breaks the spam rules, you can tell us.
If you do break the spam rules, telling us may help to fix the issue quickly. We review all cases individually, but it may be resolved without further action.
We value all information because it helps identify trends and spot serious or ongoing issues.