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SMS Marketing Laws in Australia

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SMS Marketing Laws in Australia

In Australia we have ACMA, the Australia Communications and Media Authority, which regulates communication and media for all Australian businesses. This industry body defines the guidelines that all businesses must follow. Breaking the guidelines set by ACMA usually results in warnings, then legal and monetary fines that start at $1,000.

There are 3 simple rules to follow when marketing via SMS in Australia

3 Guidelines of SMS Marketing Law

1. Identify yourself

Identify your business either in the body of the SMS or using Alphanumeric sender. The Alphanumeric sender appears in the title of sender section of the SMS without the need for a phone number.

2. Provide the ability to unsubscribe

If you’re sending SMS’s via a phone number, you must allow consumers to reply with STOP and unsubscribe them within 5 Days. If you’re using an Alphanumeric sender ID, your users will not be able to reply to your message directly, so you must include a URL with details on how to unsubscribe.

3. Have explicit consent

This is the most important part – you must have received consent from the customer to contact them.

There are two types of permission: express and inferred

Express permission

A person who gives express permission knows and accepts that they will receive marketing emails or messages from you.

People can give express permission by doing one of the following:

  • filling in a form
  • ticking a box on a website
  • over the phone
  • face to face

Note that you cannot send an SMS to ask for permission, because this is a marketing message.
Keep a record when a person gives express permission, including who gave the permission and how.
Under the Act, it’s up to you to prove that you got a person’s permission.

Inferred permission

You may infer that a person gives permission to get your marketing messages if you can satisfy both of the following:

  • they are a current customer
  • the message you want to send is related to the product or service they already bought from you

Otherwise, you may infer permission if you can satisfy all of the following:

  • the person made their email address or phone number public, such as online or in a directory
  • the person does not state that they do not want commercial messages
  • the phone number or email is for an individual or office holder
  • the subject of your message relates directly to the person’s role or function
  • there is a link between what you are promoting and the person getting the message

By following these 3 simple steps, you can market to your customers via SMS without risk of fines or penalties.

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