February 2015 - What is the Spam Act?
By Simon Remington
The Spam Act has was first introduced in 2003 yet quite a lot of people I speak to have not heard of it.
If you are planning to conduct an email send to acquire new clients, it is important you familiarise yourself with some of Spam Act's finer details.
At Remington Direct, we only work with email lists which have 'expressed consent' of the account holder. This is also known as 'opt-in' or 'permission based' email data.
Companies who own opt-in email lists will send your email to their list rather than send the email addresses to you.
As people are so wary of spam and fraudulent emails, the list owner sending the email on your behalf helps remove any hesitation surrounding opening your email.
While the use of emails where 'inferred consent' is permitted, I find most of those lists have a mixture of compliant data such as;
An IT Manager advertises their email address on their company's website. Using the 'inferred consent' provision, you can email that person an offer relating to software as it relates to their role.
and non-compliant data such as;
Generic email addresses such as info@ and other personal addresses where the individual does not 'conspicuously advertise' his or her email address.
As you can't separate the good from the bad, I personally avoid 'inferred consent' email lists unless my client is exempt from the Spam Act. Organisations such as Government agencies, political parties, market researchers and charities do not require permission to send emails.
While there are quite a few opt-in consumer lists, we only have one provider with an opt-in business list. Many of our b2b clients opt to call businesses to capture email consent due to the lack of compliant email data on the market.
The ACMA have the power to issue fines of up to $1m a day until a company ceases its spamming so it is vital that this legislation is taken seriously.