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Email: When is it a spam?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by SydneyWebService, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. SydneyWebService

    SydneyWebService Member

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    Hi,

    In Australia, how is spam defined? I mean if I saw someone driving a car with an email address and I try to contact him about my business services, will it be considered a spam? If so, any alternative quick solutions :)
  2. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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  3. Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish Administrator Staff Member

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    Clearly following spam laws is a must. However, making contact with a business need not be spam if genuine thought and consideration has been given.

    For example, an email that said something like this:

    I saw your business advertised recently and as a consequence visited your website. As a web developer, I observed three key areas where your website could work more effectively for you. I would be happy to outline these improvements to you, either over the phone or by email. Please let me know if you would like to receive these recommendations.

    ...is unlikely to be viewed as spam. As a rule of thumb when it's all about YOU, it's probably spam. When it's genuinely all about THEM, it's unlikely to be seen that way.
  4. MissieK

    MissieK Member

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    I find I get a number of phone calls from people wanting to send me emails introducing themselves - it really annoys me because the phone call wastes my time! Especially when their phone message doesn't tell me what they want...

    As Robert said, an introductory email that is just that and expresses a wish to work together wouldn't be considered spam.

    Melissa
  5. kathiemt

    kathiemt Well-Known Member

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    Just don't add them to any lists until they acknowledge or agree. One-off emails are usually ok and much better if personalised. I hate it when it's obvious it's a bulk email selling someone's wares.
  6. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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    That is just pure SPAM and unless you have agreed to receive it, it is illegal in Australia.
  7. kathiemt

    kathiemt Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and it's amazing how many Australian business owners don't realise that. So many are still internet virgins from what I can see and totally oblivious to the facts.
  8. SydneyWebService

    SydneyWebService Member

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    Great replies!

    Thank you everyone, those are very valueable insights for me as a soloist!
  9. LeelaCosgrove

    LeelaCosgrove Member

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    The problem is it technically IS spam, because it's unsolicited - and not everyone is as reasonable as you, Melissa!

    There are a lot of business people who take severe offense to being contacted for any kind of sales purpose (which I find ironic ... business people who hate sales people are such hypocrites!).

    The spam laws are totally over the top - most importantly they don't work. They just hamper honest business people - the scum bags go ahead and do it anyway ... it's all a bit pointless, if you ask me - but what can you do?

    In my case ... stuff the email marketing and focus on telemarketing. It's less regulated in the commercial sector and in my experience, far more effective.
  10. theturnaroundartist

    theturnaroundartist New Member

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    I have approached organisations on a couple of occasions after seeing their contact details - but the approach is very well planned and constructed to prevent any possibility of the approaching being considered non-genuine.

    I always follow up with a call a few days later - on all occasions, the approach was well received by each recipient and has lead to a consulting engagement.

    We only ever send our newsletter to those of our customers and visitors who have explicitly opted-in to receive it.

    Geoffrey.
  11. MissieK

    MissieK Member

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    Leela, my understanding of spam is that it is unsolicited bulk email - not just a single email sent.

    I hate it when people just add me to their email lists - I can usually tell when they've done that because it's not my regular emails, usually one of my generic enquiry emails I have listed on one of my sites.

    Melissa
  12. LeelaCosgrove

    LeelaCosgrove Member

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    Melissa, I agree entirely - I hate being added to lists without my permission.

    The Spam Act doesn't say just bulk emails ... it talks about unsolicited commercial emails ... which, technically, would be anyone you approach to sell something without their asking for it ...
  13. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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    Yes, 1 email sent unsolicited is consider SPAM.
  14. kat13

    kat13 New Member

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    I just had to jump in here with my latest.....a guy tried to add me as a friend on facebook, and I clicked ignore because I just didn't know who it was and couldn't connect him to anyone that I deal with.

    Seconds later I got a message from him through facebook "My name is .... I want to do business with you"

    I found that really annoying and unprofessional!
  15. ahortin

    ahortin Member

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  16. bal1974

    bal1974 New Member

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    This is an old thread, but I would like to reopen this...

    Some of the links in this thread I looked at, and I saw following roles regarding SPAM:

    They purchased something off you in the last 2 years
    By making a purchase from you they have provided their permission implicitly. Feel free to email them but at the same time, we think it’s always better to ask anyway, so why not include an opt-in checkbox as part of the checkout process.


    Is that still valid? I am starting a web shop up, where I am selling virus, pc-optimizer, and SPAM fighters - and it would not be great to be a SPAM provider.

    I have some 30 days trial software, and I will send them 3 e-mails regarding this trail software:

    1. Email with the downloading of the trial software (telling about other software I have)
    2. After 26 days - sending a reminder regarding the trial, and link to the buy pages
    3. 30 Days - last chance to upgrade - buy here

    Is the above e-mail flow SPAM?
  17. John Debrincat

    John Debrincat Well-Known Member

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    Actually that is not entirely true. Under the Spam Act there is the concept of Express Consent and Inferred Consent. Express Consent is obvious that is you agree to recieve messages. This is often a tick box on a form that you might have responded to and you gave consent.

    The second, Inferred Consent, is much more open, to quote ACMA "conspicuous publication of a work-related electronic address." or "Through an existing business or other relationship".

    Really the key is to always allow people to unsubscribe or opt-out of future messages and then make sure that happens. I recommend that you use a good quality message filter and you can filter both inbound and outbound messages.

    A lot of people (more than you would believe in fact) send spam and don't even know it. Spam bots and other programs invade your mail system (both desktop and server) and systematically send out emails via your email address. The most heavily spammed addresses are those associated with websites and online stores so you should never have your personal email address on a website or online store. Same goes with social networks and never publicly make available your birthday or or other personal details as social networks are ripe for identity fraud.

    John
  18. John Debrincat

    John Debrincat Well-Known Member

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    If you have a set of terms and conditions associated with the free trial then part of those conditions should be that they agree to receive related communications from you. Explicit consent, not spam. If they don't buy and then you continue to send them messages it is also OK as long as you give them the opportunity to say "no more please".
  19. Niche

    Niche New Member

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    It's simple really
    If they have not opted in to your email list, it's spam

    Use double opt in to be on the safe side
  20. SteveDavidson

    SteveDavidson Member

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    Generally, if the contact is both unsolicited and in a bulk format, it's spam. I apply this to pretty much everything, from the original Usenet definition to email to telemarketing to mailbox-stuffers.

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