Our definition of spam goes beyond the Spam Act 2003 and encompasses what we believe to be true permission SMS and email marketing.
Spam is any electronic message you send to someone who hasn’t given you their direct implied permission to contact them on the topic of the message.
But that’s not enough. Permission is a fuzzy word open to interpretation. Let’s get into some specific scenarios so it’s clear what does and doesn’t constitute permission.
What constitutes permission?
To send SMS or email to anyone using this service, you must have clearly or implicitly obtained their permission. This could be done through:
- An SMS or email subscribe form on your web site.
- An opt-in checkbox on a form. This checkbox must not be checked by default, the person completing the form must willingly select the checkbox to indicate they want to hear from you.
- If someone completes an offline form like a survey or enters a competition, you can only contact them if it was explained to them that you would be contacting them either by SMS or email, AND they ticked a box indicating they would like you to contact them.
- Customers who have purchased from you within the last 2 years.
- If someone gives you their business card and you have explicitly asked for permission to add them to your list, you can contact them. If they dropped their business card in a fishbowl at a trade show, there must be a sign indicating they will be contacted by SMS or email about that specific topic.
- Basically, you can only ever SMS or email anyone who has clearly given you permission to SMS or email them specifically about the subject you’re contacting them about.
What DOES NOT constitute permission?
Anything outside the examples above doesn’t equal permission in our eyes, but here are some examples to make sure we’re crystal clear. By using this service, you agree not to import or send to any mobile number or email address which:
- You do not have explicit, provable permission to contact in relation to the topic of the SMS or email you’re sending.
- You bought, loaned, rented or in any way acquired from a third party, no matter what they claim about quality or permission. You need to obtain permission yourself.
- You haven’t contacted via SMS or email in the last 2 years. Permission doesn’t age well and these people have either changed mobile numbers and/or email addresses or won’t remember giving their permission in the first place.
- You scraped or copy and pasted from the web. Just because people publish their mobile numbers and email addresses doesn’t mean they want to hear from you.
- Sure, some of these people might have given you their mobile numbers and/or email addresses, but what’s missing is your permission to SMS or email them commercial messages. Blasting promotional SMS and/or email messages to any of these people won’t be effective and will more than likely see your electronic message seen as spam by many of your recipients.
What MUST I include in my SMS or email message?
Every SMS and/or email you send must include the following:
- An opt-out mechanism that instantly removes the subscriber from your list. If the recipient unsubscribes from your SMS campaign, you cannot SMS a commercial message to them again. If the recipient unsubscribes from your email campaign, you cannot email them a commercial message again.
- The name, number or email address of the sender. If you’re sending an SMS or email for your client, you’ll need to include your client’s details instead.
We have numerous layers of approval and monitoring to ensure you comply with our anti-spam policy. Here’s a few of them:
- Until your account has been approved by a member of our team, every electronic message you send will need to be approved.
- Our software is directly integrated into global SMS and email spam reporting systems. If you don’t have permission and someone marks your campaign as spam, we’ll know about it the moment that button is pressed. If you receive a complaint rate greater than the average you will receive a warning email requesting an explanation and giving you advice. Higher levels of complaints may result in accounts being locked or terminated, and your details reported to the authorities.
- Our team verifies all large lists imported into our software. Until we’ve given it the all clear, you can’t send to it.
- We monitor blacklists and our abuse accounts all day every day. We can pinpoint who is causing us delivery problems or attracting complaints very easily.
If we do discover that you’re SMS or email messaging people without their permission, we will terminate your account with us immediately.
In the end, it’s really common sense. Take off your marketing hat and put yourself in your recipient’s shoes. If they don’t recognise who you are or aren’t interested in what you’re sending, they’ll think you’re a spammer. It’s that simple.
If you have any questions about our Anti-Spam Policy, or if you want to report spamming activity by one of our customers, please contact us.