Email Subscriptions

The legalities of email subscriptions are strict and very regulated. But it is surprising how many business fail to realise the requirements of this mass marketing technique.

There are some more obvious rules about not buying email address or selling them for that matter, it would be assumed most businesses are aware of this and know that that would be illegal. However some businesses aren’t aware of the more intricate details.

For instance.

Last night at my work a newsletter was sent out to our entire cliental. Today I discovered that a person in my office found it strange that the number of email addresses receiving the newsletter, was less than the number of email addresses in the system. And that they were planning on re adding all the missing email addresses to the subscription list. I very, very quickly told them to hold off. I explained that if someone has unsubscribed to our emails, it is very important that they are not re-added. Surely enough, by looking through the reports, several of the email addresses had clicked unsubscribe at one point.

While some companies are a little..tricky.. with where their unsubscribe buttons sit on their emails, it is also a legal requirement that they must be there. Whilst this isn’t the most hidden button I’ve seen, it is still pretty small and inattentional. Can you see it easily on a glance?


With mass email marketing still a very popular choice for most businesses, it is imperative to their success that they are aware of the legalities that come with it. Not only is this crucial for, well, the legal side of it. It also means that they’re less likely to piss off the people they’re trying to convince to buy from them.

What other elements of email marketing do you think businesses need to be aware of?



  1. I think from a marketing point of view perhaps they need to find a way to make it out of the junk section. I know that I personally have subscribed to so many different companies but barely even read them and often when I do the sale is over. Being able to stand out and make me move you into my inbox from my junk would be a huge leap.


    • That’s a valid point, not only is sending repetitive emails usually unresponsive, but are they even being noticed? There’s been chatter about the use of emojis in subject lines, I wonder if that would make them stand out more?


  2. I think they also need to think about the way the report on this form of marketing. Email newsletters are used differently to the standard digital ad formats therefore the standard impressions and clicks wont always cut it when it comes to reporting and proving the this form of marketing works. Do you agree?


    • I definitely agree. Companies need to be aware of which type of email marketing (lets say ads vs newsletters) is most appropriate for what they’re trying to achieve. A once off sale? An ongoing relationship? Once they’ve established that, then as you’ve mentioned about impressions and clicks, they need to be conscious of measuring the effectiveness of these emails. Perhaps with an ad format, a better report would be conversion from the email to the website’s online ‘shopping basket’?


  3. A couple of years ago, I linked my QANTAS Frequent Flyer points to my Woolworths Everyday Rewards Card. I was absolutely bombarded with emails from QANTAS. The kicker was that they had “categories” for their emails, so that when I unsubscribed from an email, I wasn’t unsubscribing from all of their emails, only the category of the email where I clicked “unsubscribe”

    I think I’ve only finally just made myself clean from their system.

    It probably wouldn’t have been such an issue, if I didn’t get multiple emails a day from them. I can’t handle being on the email list of companies that continually email people. Honestly, anything more than 1 email a week is spam in my books.


    • I have experienced this too!! I found it the most sure fire way to piss me off and completely turn me away from their brand. It also made me wonder if I was truly unsubscribing, or if I was being readded or what was going on. I’m starting to wonder if brands are aware that email marketing isn’t as effective as it once was, and consequently deciding to flood a consumer’s inbox in the hope that they see one email…not a very effective strategy. Like Mad_Thommo mentioned, maybe companies need to reshift to send less emails, and make them stand out more.


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