The importance of permission when emailing

Earlier this month an Australian web company named Bunology was fined $11,000 following an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority into emails allegedly sent by the company in contravention of the Spam Act 2003. So what did Bunology do? Simple: it ran an email marketing campaign using addresses it had downloaded from the Internet. Bad bad bad.

Every now and then we'll get asked by a client or potential client "hey can we use this list of addresses I bought online?" and the answer is always no. When running campaigns for our clients our criteria are pretty simple -- we'll happily send email to:

  • People who have specifically signed up through the client's website
  • People who completed offline forms and indicated they wanted to be emailed
  • People who have freely given their email contact details
  • People who have purchased something off our client in the last 2 years

Not in that list? Not getting emailed. To send email to people who haven't given permission is not just illegal, it goes against everything we believe in as communications professionals.

For more information on Australian law regarding unsolicited commercial emails and SMSs, visit the ACMA SPAM website.

(Image credit: David HegartyCreative Commons.)