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How a little email marketing mistake could cost you big

Sending spammy emails or, worse still, breaking email marketing laws in Australia, is something no business should want to do.

Fear of sending spam is one of the most common reservations I hear business owners mention when it comes to consistently emailing their mailing lists. You don’t want to pester your audience and so you shouldn’t.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t consistently email your mailing list. And in actual fact, consistently emailing your mailing list can HELP you avoid being perceived as spam. 

But first things first.

What is email spam?


Email spam, also known as junk email, refers to unsolicited email messages, usually sent in bulk to a large list of recipients.

In short? You are being sent a marketing email without your consent. And when it comes to email marketing laws in Australia? This is a big no-no and absolutely illegal under Australia’s Spam Act (2003).

How does email consent work in Australia?


If you want to abide by email marketing laws in Australia while still sending marketing emails to someone, you need their permission.

You could obtain this permission by getting them to fill in a form, tick a box on your website, or by asking for permission over the phone or face to face.

By law, it’s up to you to prove that you got a person’s permission. So no matter which method you use, you need to make sure you’re keeping a record of when permission was received, including who gave the permission and how.

Technically, there is also one more way you can obtain permission, but in this area, I’d tread cautiously. Under The Spam Act, you may assume that you have permission if it is reasonable to believe they would expect to receive marketing from your business. For example, if someone has subscribed to a service, has an account, or is a member, and the marketing is relevant to the relationship.

Why do you need to tread cautiously here? Because getting marked as spam by a subscriber is highly detrimental to your email marketing ability and if you haven’t clearly received consent from someone to send them marketing emails? This is more likely to occur.

What happens when your email gets marked as spam by a subscriber?


Often, businesses view unsubscribes as the ultimate negative consequence of their email marketing but in reality, being flagged as spam is a far worse outcome. 

When someone unsubscribes, their inbox provider (i.e Gmail or Outlook) and your email service provider (i.e. MailChimp) are both alerted to the fact that this person no longer wants to receive your emails. 

And while, as the sender, it’s a bummer that you’ve lost a subscriber, there’s no real penalty incurred.

If you’re marked as spam, on the other hand, the implications can be far-reaching. 

Each time a person marks a sender as spam, both their inbox provider and your email service provider view this as a blemish on your sending record. 

And these blemishes, depending on how many you received and how frequently you receive them, can result in your emails landing in the spam folder or not being delivered at all. And this isn’t just for the individual that flagged you as spam, this could occur throughout your mailing list. 

In short? Being flagged as spam is something you absolutely want to avoid. 

Need the helping hand of an email expert? Explore our email marketing services now.

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