When setting up an SMS broadcast or email-based campaign for targeted marketing efforts, companies often fear running afoul of Australian spam laws. Our clients needn’t worry, however, as ReachTEL prides itself on adhering to the most rigid legal safeguards. 


Sometimes, however, there is a fine line between spamming would-be customers and bolstering business or keeping existing clients updated. ReachTEL clients have come to depend on the full array of our fully automated capabilities, including SMS marketing, without fear of violating spam safeguards. But for the uninitiated, a primer on Australian laws related to spam—believed to be the world’s most stringent—might prove useful.


Electronic junk mail, known as spam, consists of any unwanted messages sent to others’ mobile telephones or email accounts. Under Australian law, a single electronic message—as opposed to messages sent en masse—can be considered spam. As added value to our array of products, ReachTEL protects our clients amidst the regulatory climate. Still, it is useful for clients to be personally empowered by visiting the website of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the government agency charged with enforcing the Spam Act of 2003 for further guidance.


Generally speaking, clients involved in commercial e-marketing efforts—including image-based text messages (MMS), instant messaging, email or standard text messaging (SMS)—must ensure they have consent to contact the recipient of a message. What’s more, they must be prepared to show proof of this prior consent if approached by regulators.  Consent is one of the main cogs of the Spam Act.


Businesses must also identify themselves with detailed and accurate information related to their company and purpose. This includes identifying any organisation on whose behalf businesses might be conveying messages, to clearly alert recipients as to the identity of the authorised sender.


SMS marketing messages also must include an accessible, user-friendly unsubscribe capability to enable recipients to stop receiving messages if that is their choice. 


As stringent as Australia’s Spam Act is, some electronic messaging is not covered under that law. Exempted from the Act are electronic messages from charities, educational institutions, government bodies, registered political parties and religious organizations. More specific information on what organisations are exempted from these safeguards can be found here. You’ll also find information on the possible penalties incurred by violating these policies. 


What’s more, while the ACMA’s guidelines to protect consumers may sound draconian in regulating e-marketers, the agency also assists businesses using such technology to promote their products. In a new initiative, the ACMA has launched a campaign aimed at assisting businesses that use e-marketing while complying with the Spam Act. Titled “Successful e-marketing… it’s about reputation,” the campaign offers useful information and advice to e-marketers. The goal is to show businesses that such e-marketing tactics should be viewed not as a numbers game, but rather as a way to bolster commerce while adhering to the Spam Act. The ACMA believes adherence can “…go a long way to enhance an organization’s reputation.”


So by all means, let us help launch your effective e-marketing campaign! See for yourself how easy adherence to the law and full utilization of email and SMS marketing messaging can be reconciled. We’re in this together.