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Understanding the SMS marketing laws in Australia

3 mins
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Are you trying out SMS marketing in your business for the first time? Ready to see how a new communications channel can help to grow your opt-in list, improve sales and boost your business’ bottom line? Great! However, before you jump right in, you first need to understand the SMS marketing laws within Australia and how they can impact your marketing efforts.  

Marketing through electronic commercial messages, such as SMS, MMS or instant message that offers, advertises or promotes a business, goods or service is governed by the Spam Act 2003 and the Spam Regulations. These laws set out what you can and can’t do when it comes to setting up and launching your SMS campaign.  

As the law is pretty text-heavy, we’ve set out the key points below on what you need to follow and understand when sending any form of SMS marketing to your audience.  


Gain customer consent

The Spam Act 2003 states that before sending an SMS, you first need to have gained their consent (or permission). There are two types of consent that can be given: 

  1. Express consent  
  2. Inferred consent 

Put simply, you can only send an SMS to someone if they have given you consent to do so. Gaining consent can be as easy as asking for someone’s mobile number over a support call, asking someone to provide their mobile number when filling in a form on your website or having a previously existing relationship with them (for example, they’ve made a purchase from you already and had already provided you with their mobile number).  

Once you’ve gained consent, you can add them to your SMS opt-in list. Your SMS opt-in list is vital to the success of your SMS marketing campaign and should be updated regularly. You can learn more about gaining customer consent on the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) website. 


Identify yourself

The second key point of the SMS marketing law is to ensure you clearly identify yourself to your audience. The Spam Act 2003 states that you must not send an SMS unless: 

  • The message clearly and accurately identifies the individual or organisation who authorised the sending of the message, and  
  • The message includes accurate information about how the recipient can readily contact the individual or organisation 

There are many ways for you to identify yourself when sending an SMS marketing campaign to your audience. This includes: 

  • Setting a custom SMS sender ID – change the mobile number to your business’ name so your audience knows exactly who sent the SMS. All Notifyre sender IDs are approved by our support team before use to meet Australian legislative sender ID requirements.
  • Body text – simply state who you are in the body of the SMS message. 
  • Adding a CTA – identify yourself by allowing your audience to explore your website through the SMS 


Provide an easy way to unsubscribe

The last key point that you need to understand when it comes to abiding by SMS marketing laws is to ensure that the SMS message you send contains an unsubscribe method. The main way this is done is by providing your audience with the ability to opt-out. This can be done a number of different ways: 

  • Tap on an SMS hyperlink to opt-out – when the opt-out is tapped, a new page is opened with the unsubscribe option. 
  • Reply to the SMS to opt-out – give your audience the option to reply to the SMS with a keyword e.g., STOP to opt-out, automatically unsubscribing them once they have replied. 
  • Call to opt-out – ask your audience to give your business a call to unsubscribe by providing a phone number in the body of the SMS. 

The Australian Government’s information page on promoting your business by email or text messages states that: 

  • Your unsubscribe facility should be clear and easy to see 
  • If an SMS recipient unsubscribes, you should action this within 5 working days (if not immediately) 
  • Unsubscribing should be low cost or free 
  • Your SMS recipient should be able to unsubscribe up to 30 days after they receive your original message 
  • If you’ve used a third party to send out the SMS for you, a recipient's unsubscribe request should come to you, not the third party. 


Get your SMS campaign up and running today

As soon as you’ve got a good understanding of the SMS marketing laws in Australia, you’ll be ready to launch your SMS marketing campaign. Notifyre’s SMS toolkit is designed for all organisations across Australia to take your business communications to a new level. Create your account today and start sending SMS with flexible pay-as-you-go pricing. 

To learn more about the benefits of SMS for your business, check out: 

Security & Compliance
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