Thinking there might be gold in them there emails you’ll gather from all your exciting potential clients? Think again!
In Australia we are governed by the SPAM ACT 2003, administered by ACMA: Australian Communications and Media Authority.
If you want to send out newsletters or promotional material you’ll need permission.
You have two types of permission: inferred and express.
To get express permission you should ask; it’s that simple. Add a box on your intake form for this, and make it a checkable box. Non of this ‘opt-out’ business will fly with the privacy commissioner, so be sure to have it as an opt-in process to be safe.
The inferred form of permission is where you already have a relationship with someone and you use that to contact them, giving people the clear option to opt-out through an unsubscribe. You’ll often see this used in LinkedIn, or if you’ve contacted a company to ask a question. You haven’t given express permission to be put on their email list, but the channels of communication have been opened and there is an inference that could be taken that you’ve consented to be contacted.
Whichever way you go, you should include the following in your email marketing:
• How you got their details - ‘you signed up for our newsletter or you’re a client of so and so’.
• Your address - a physical location.
• How to unsubscribe - must be clear and easy to find.
Trust is essential in our dealings with people electronically. Don’t bombard your clients, but do keep them informed. Treat them with the same respect and courtesy you’d like to get from any email marketing list you subscribe to. Don’t send an email every day, every other day, or so on. Be discrete, because you certainly don’t want to face the consequences of having your email blacklisted by spam cop or a complaint made to the SPAM ACT governing body, ACMA.
For more info on how to not be a spammer