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A Helpful Guide to Australian Spam Laws

Email marketing is a fantastic way of nurturing existing clients, increasing repeat business and building trust among opt in subscribers prior to them making a purchase.

Quite rightly many businesses are concerned about being perceived as spamming their contacts.  The Australian laws on spamming are among, if not the best in the world.  To understand these click on the links below to go to the relevent ACMA web site pages.  The below information is copied from pages on ACMA.

General Rules to Email Marketing

"If your business uses any form of e-marketing, including email, SMS (text message), MMS (image based text messages) or instant messaging, you must understand and meet the following three key requirements of the Spam Act:

  1. Consent - make sure you have consent to contact the recipient and can prove you have obtained it
  2. Identify - include accurate information to identify yourself or your organisation as the authorised sender of the message
  3. Unsubscribe - make sure your messages have a functional unsubscribe facility, so that recipients can unsubscribe at any time.

A message does not necessarily have to be sent out to numerous addresses to be considered spam. Under Australian law, a single electronic message can be considered spam." (Source:

Spam - What is Illegal?

Under the Spam Act 2003 it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The Act covers email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS (text and image-based mobile phone messaging) of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing. 

ACMA is responsible for enforcing the Spam Act and actively works to fight spam in Australia. This section of ACMA’s website provides practical information and handy tips on how you can reduce and help to fight spam.

Spam is a generic term used to describe electronic 'junk mail' – unwanted messages sent to a person's email account or mobile phone.

Making Sure You Don't Spam

If you run a business and plan to email current or prospective clients or customers, you need to know about the Spam Act and your requirements under Australian law.

This below links provides practical advice on:

Electronic messages from certain sources are exempted from the Spam Act. These include messages from:

  1. government bodies
  2. registered political parties
  3. charities
  4. religious organisations
  5. educational institutions (sent to current and former students and their households).

For more information visit exemptions and The Act and Codes of Practice sections.

ACMA plays an important role in e-Security in Australia, gathering evidence and assisting in protecting Australians from computer fraud and identity theft. ACMA also regulates internet content issues and deals with internet content complaints

Report spam - install SpamMATTERS

ACMA’s SpamMATTERS reporting system helps to fight spam in Australia. Spam reported using SpamMATTERS is used to track spammers and take action against them.

SpamMATTERS is available to download for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express email programs. Once installed, you can delete spam and report it to ACMA at the same time - with just a single click.

To help ACMA fight spam, download and install SpamMATTERS

Would You Like More Information?

For more help on how to effectively reach your subscribers, or if you are ready to start converting your web site visitors to customers, contact GTP iCommerce today for a Free Consultation on your Email Marketing Requirements - Call 1300 856 533.

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