SPAM, being a scourge, getting fined & what that means for your brand and your CRM

SPAM, being a scourge, getting fined & what that means for your brand and your CRM


It wasn’t my fault – my agency told me it was OK!

I have a lot of conversations with people about what you can and cannot do with sending emails.

This email relates to our Australian customers (mainly!) And in Australia, the SPAM laws are really very clear. Unless you have opt-in permission, says the Australian Spam Act of 2003, you cannot send an email. There are heavy fines of up to $220,000 and repeat offenders can face fines of up to $1.1 million.

Q1: “But Graham, no one follows those rules, they’re draconian”.  Well, them’s the rules. And to be honest, I am wholeheartedly in agreement with them.  To buy a list of emails and to send a blanket email out is possibly the worst thing you could do for i) the industry and ii) your brand.  It’s also the height of laziness and certainly makes you look opportunistic – which translates into a brand perception somewhere around the bottom of the barrel.

Q2: “But Graham, no one’s ever been caught let alone prosecuted have they?”

  1. August 14th 2013 – someone just emailing…
  2. Oct 25, 2012 Tiger airways forgot to honour their opt-out list
  3. May 28th, 2013 Cellarmasters forgot the email opt-out footer…

Q3: “But Graham, other businesses I know are doing it”.  Yep, good luck with that line of defence in front of the judge.

It’s often the area of “what is considered real permission” which causes most concern within RMS customers.  We position an opt in with the following criteria:

  1. Met at a tradeshow.
  2. From a list provided by a tradeshow organizer.
  3. Where we’ve called and asked permission from either them directly or from a PA.
  4. Where we’ve found them from a 3rd party in LI – and gotten an intro.

Important stuff

But what does that all mean, because even when they’ve been opted in, it looks like companies such as Cellarmasters were being caught out.  Well, we have the following three thoughts in our minds:

  1. Ensure that you have a strict policy of maintaining Lead Source in your CRM.
  2. Ensure you use the “EMail Opt Out” fields maintained and honour its use.  It is keeping you safe!
  3. Use an automated “opt out” procedure to allow people to opt in and out of what they’re receiving. It’s a lot easier and less manual (therefore more accurate) to get people to do it themselves – and although most marketers are horrified when I make the suggestion of allowing their customers to opt out of communications, they all thank me when its done.  You don’t get mass opt-outs immediately then you offer this service (if you do it right!).  This is where Marketo and Salesforce really excel.

If you want to stay out of jail drop me a line.

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