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Spam Act and Inferred Consent

Discussion in 'Find the help you need' started by NicoleM7, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. NicoleM7

    NicoleM7 Member

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    Hi, I'm doing some contract work for a small start up, helping them set up their contacts in Salesforce. They've asked me to send an newsletter email via Salesforce to a list of business where they have obtained their email addresses from the web. I don't believe these email addresses have been harvested using software, but they have been obtained through googling and then entering the email address data onto a spreadsheet. There are around 350 in total.

    I feel this sails close to the line of spam and I'm not particularly comfortable with contravening the Spam Act (Australia). Could the argument of inferred consent be used as the email addresses are already published? Could I be held responsible for any contravention?
  2. Rowan@quaotic

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    B2B cold emailing has the same requirements as B2C in Australia, even if their email address is public.
    Make your customer aware of the penalties involved if someone complains, and maybe ask them to contact a specialised company to to that if they really want to go ahead to avoid any trouble coming back on you.

    Also make it clear that if people send their email to their spam box then any future emails will also go there automatically and won't be read which will make legitimate contact in the future troublesome.
    It just isn't worth it for them or you, imo
  3. NicoleM7

    NicoleM7 Member

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    Thank you for your reply. What type of specialist company would do this?
  4. Dave - FS Concierge

    Dave - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi @NicoleM7,

    Sending a bulk newsletter to people who haven't subscribed would be poor practice. It's likely to get a lot of spam reports, and unlikely to win you business, or start a relationship on the right foot. And subscribing them without permission would probably be against the spam act.

    BUT that doesn't mean you can't reach out to those companies, and start a relationship with them. It just takes more work. If it's personalised, relevant, explains why you're emailing them, and refrains from selling them something on the first email, then cold emailing can be a positive experience for the recipient and a worthwhile activity for you.

    But again, that takes more work.
    Dave
  5. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    Sorry call it an intro or personalised, it is still SPAM and gets thrown into my deleted items folder before you can ask whats for dinner.

    People are sick and tired of SPAMérs, cold callers, or just plain old time wasters, lets not encourage another SPAMér.

    If FS really wanted to help small business, they would encourage ACMA to get some teath, rather then encourage SPAMérs to play the rules.
  6. Dave - FS Concierge

    Dave - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    @bb1 Does the spam act prohibit you from all of the following?
    • Contacting a fellow landscaper to enquire about buying his/her business?
    • Contacting a nearby lawn mowing service to propose a joint venture?
    • Contacting a turf company to ask for their input for an article you're writing?
    • Contacting a garden expert you admire after seeing them speak at a conference?
    To me it's unrealistic to say you can never contact anyone you don't know personally (and I don't believe that's the intention of the spam act).

    In short there are a lot of grey areas, where natural human communications (as well as spam) exist.

    Dave
  7. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    Dave,

    It is obvious from the original OP that they are proposing a sales campaign, none of your examples are sales campaigns. You can play around with words, but I suggest people read the SPAM act.
    [email protected] likes this.
  8. Rowan@quaotic

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    Dave, it is not the same. If a cold email is obviously addressed to me or my business and shows that the author knows about my particular business then it would not be considered spam.
    If it is an email that looks generic and been sent to other businesses - such as a stranger offering SEO services for my website, then it will immediately get marked as spam. If I want such a service I will actively seek it out, not trust some random stranger with it.
  9. Dave - FS Concierge

    Dave - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    @[email protected] and @bb1 you are right. They are different. These examples (in your words) are not sales campaigns.

    Yet #3 or #4 could be a nice way to start a relationship with a company.

    With some imagination, the OP can send a message to a prospect that (even to an anti-spam advocate like Bert) would not be called spam, and would not even be called a sales campaign.

    Dave
  10. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    True, but what value would it offer OP, even an imaginative marketer such as yourself would have trouble making a valid message, from a total stranger appear not be seen as a sales pitch of some type.
  11. Dave - FS Concierge

    Dave - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    One more prospect now knows your name, and what you do, and possibly received a small act of generosity from you.

    You've started a relationship, and built a basis for later (warmer) communication.

    Dave

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