Content marketing specialists love to promote the value of newsletters. They’re not wrong – well executed newsletters can help keep you at the forefront of your prospects’ minds, build your reputation as an expert in the field and enhance customer trust. Bad email newsletters have the opposite effect. On top of harming your brand, they can leave you at risk of breaking Australian and international laws.

According to Statista, spam accounted for almost 60 per cent of all email traffic in the month of September 2017. That’s a lot of junk floating around in cyberspace, so it’s no surprise that laws around the world have been enacted to try and deal with this. The state of your inbox may suggest these laws are failing, but it’s worth knowing how not to be in breach.

The cost of spamming is high

The penalties for spamming are harsh, particularly for repeat offenders. In Australia we’ve seen Virgin Blue Airlines, Tiger Airways, Cellarmaster Wines and TPG Internet all cop six figure fines for breaching spam laws. Most of these fines were in relation to text message advertising, rather than email, but the same rules apply.

Repeat offences in Australia can land you with a fine in excess of $1.5 million, which may be preferable to the three years in prison for repeatedly breaching the spam laws in Italy.

A lot of this spam is exactly what you’re thinking it is…

Most emails deemed to be spam are not the kind you’re sending your customers. The majority of spam is indeed those annoying emails promising you the weight loss secret of the century or letting you know your long-lost relative has left you millions. You know the ones. They’re clearly junk and you certainly didn’t sign up for them. We all want these stopped.

However, if you manage and write your email newsletter badly, it could be deemed spam. This not only annoys your email list, it can attract huge fines.

Even great newsletters can be considered spam

You may have amazing content in your newsletters – and you should – but if you’ve missed some important features in your newsletter you’re at risk of being declared a spammer. If you’ve got a working unsubscribe link on your emails, you’re halfway there.

In Australia, you also need make sure you have receiver consent, either express or implied and clearly identify yourself when you’re sending the email. Overseas there are more conditions, such as including your physical address in America and not relying on implied consent in China.

On top of all of this, of course you want your newsletters to contain high quality, original material that is relevant to your readers. If they love your content, you’re far less likely to be reported for sending out junk emails.

We’ve put together a detailed guide around what you need to include in your newsletters to remain on the right side of spam laws around the world. Download the free guide below.

Do you know the law around spam?

Our free guide, What every business must know about the Spam Act, details what businesses need to do when sending out email newsletters to avoid breaking the law. Download your free copy today.

Guide to SPAM act