Email marketing sounds easy, but throw in some Privacy Laws and a chunk of Spam and you have a disaster waiting to happen. A well known Australian retailer has just found themselves in big trouble for email marketing without proper database management – and it’s a big reminder to everyone using email marketing to really make sure they’re doing things properly.

Best Buy, a well known electrical goods retailer, was hit with a $8000 fine for recently breaching Australia’s Spam Act 2003. They were charged with having an insufficient database management program, so when a person unsubsribed from one list, they weren’t unsubscribed from another and therefore continued to receive marketing material.

Not only does Best Buy have to pay the fine, they also have to cease to market electronically and must have approved policies, procedures, staff training and a complaints handling policy in place before they can operate electronic marketing again.

The statement from the ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman sums it up perfectly:
“This was a case of poor management of marketing lists. All e-marketers should take heed: list management is key to compliance with the Spam Act and contraventions such as this can easily be avoided. Anyone who markets electronically must have processes to maintain and keep their lists current and compliant.”

Email marketing is fantastic – it can really work and be highly successful for your business. BUT, you must have the database system to back it up. If you’re using more than one database or several different systems, it’s essential people have the ability to unsubscribe from ALL of them. If you’re using an email marketing system, ring them today and ask if their system supports this. Does it automatically delete double ups or manage unsubscribes across ALL database lists? It’s absolutely essential you are up to speed with this, otherwise you risk a hefty fine (and all the bad PR that goes with it).

If you’d like to know more about email marketing, come along to Scott’s Super Online workshop on the 9th September, or hang out for more sessions, soon to be released, which will focus on email marketing specifically.

P.S. If you’re a client utilising our Mailbox Email eCampaign system , these elements are a standard feature. An unsubscribe from one list is an unsubscribe from all, and double ups are automatically deleted. If you’re ever unsure however, please give us a call.