Australia can be thought of as pretty easygoing, but you need to be on top of your game when it comes to the rules and regulations for email marketing. If you are planning on creating an email marketing campaign in Australia, there are a few things you should know to ensure your EDM efforts remain legal.

Credits: Homebase Digital

The Spam Act

The charmingly named Spam Act of 2003 made it illegal to send unsolicited emails out of the blue. That’s right, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (aka, the ACMA) to ensure you are following the law there are three requirements you need to follow:

  • Recipients of your message must give consent to receive emails from you;
  • You must provide identification of your business contact details; and
  • You must provide a working unsubscribe link.

NOTE: Depending on your industry, some other requirements may be at play. It is important to check and ensure that your business is up to date with the latest legislation.


The power of enforcing consequences of potentially breaching these laws lies with the Australian Media and Communications Authority. This government organisation is the one that can act when an email is classified as spam and uses an Australian link. The consequences that they have the power to enforce include:

  • issuing formal warnings;
  • accepting undertakings from the sender;
  • issuing fines;
  • seeking injunctions from the Federal Court, and taking the matter to the Federal Court.

Identity: Letting the people know who you are

As per the Spam Act 2003, you are required to include your information as a sender of a marketing email in Australia. This could include your legal business name, contact details like physical and or website addresses, phone number and email address. Basically, you can’t be anonymous!


Automation, as they say, is key, but so is this next point: you must provide the capability to ‘unsubscribe’ from your email list in every automated marketing email. It is legally required that the action to unsubscribe is visible in the email, easy to use and that all unsubscribe requests are acted upon within five business days.

What emails are exempt?

Now, purely factual emails are exempt. Evidently, this offers some grey areas. When in doubt, the best practice is to ensure you are adhering to ACMA laws and regulations.

Examples of what is considered a factual email is:

  • Provide a price or quote to a customer;
  • Provide a product description to a customer;
  • Advise the recipient and are not commercial in nature and
  • Are for the recipient’s genuine safety.

So, while email marketing is a cost-effective and direct marketing channel, you should understand the legislation in Australia that backs it up.

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