Think your purchased marketing list is good to go? Think again

Just bought a list of email addresses from a reputable Australian list provider? Then read this before you take another step. It could save your company’s reputation, not to mention a lot of money.

Buying a list of prospects from a genuine list provider is a great way to increase your email campaign’s success rate. But before you start emailing these bright, shiny new contacts, you’d better make sure you’re not breaking the law.

Even though you purchased the list legally and it includes email addresses, the Spam Act says you can’t actually email those people without first confirming that the email addresses can be used.

And here’s the rub: you can’t email them to ask permission. You have to call them. Every single one of them.

While it’s true that some companies overlook this step (either deliberately or by accident) and get away with it, the consequences of getting caught are just not worth it. The Government hands out hefty fines to companies that don’t comply with the Spam Act, and listed companies in particular face significant risk due to shareholder backlash.

Marketing agencies worth their salt won’t allow it because they’re held accountable as the transmitter. And if you’re a member of the client-side marketing team then you shouldn’t allow it either because the risk to your company’s reputation and your own reputation as a marketer is very high.

So if you can’t automatically use the email addresses you’ve just purchased, then what’s the point of buying a list?

Because the effort involved in checking a list of existing addresses and securing opt-ins via telemarketing pays off. When you have email addresses to read out during the telemarketing process, the opt-in rate radically improves.

So our advice is to go ahead and buy that list, engage a telemarketing team or service to confirm the opt-ins, develop some great content and watch your B2B email campaign yield real business results.

For more information about how the Spam Act affects your planned B2B email campaign, check out the eMarketing Code of Practice, which gives a full appreciation of the definitions of opt-in, opt-out and the types of email messages that can and can’t be sent. The Code of Practice is available at: www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/australian-emarketing-code-of-practice-march-2005

The Code of Practice is reviewed regularly so make sure you keep an eye out for the latest information. If you’re not sure how it relates to you, contact a professional marketing agency for advice. It could save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.

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