Are you ready to set up your email database? Are you lacking a few addresses and want to take a few short-cuts?


Here’s a few important things to know around the Unsolicited Electronic Message Act 2007 before you even think about buying email lists from a third party, harvesting email addresses from a business card draw, or crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

Firstly, before you send an email message of a commercial nature the recipient must give consent. In other words, unsolicited commercial electronic messages must not be sent.

Be respectful. Be responsible. Your database is a huge asset. Make sure you acquire yours legitimately. Here’s how:


As defined by the Unsolicited Electronic Message Act 2007, there are three definitions of consent:

  • Express Consent – have voluntarily opted-in fully to be on your database
  • Inferred Consent – based on the fact you already have a prior business relationship (ie: an existing customer)
  • Deemed Consent – in two parts, based on (a) email addresses being published publicly (eg: on a website) and does not have an ‘do not email me’ disclaimer or (b) the information being sent is relevant to the business, role, functions or duties of the person in the business or official capacity

Unsubscribe Function

Regardless of what type of consent the recipient falls within, at every turn the recipient must have the ability to unsubscribe from your database at will. Whether this be an immediate self unsubscribe function written in to most email broadcasters (eg: Mail Chimp) or an easy instruction advising how to contact the sender to request a manual unsubscribe, the ‘sender’ has no more than 5 working days to implement their request and remove their email address from your database.

There’s More

Trust me! There are numerous considerations before attempting to fall foul of the Act. READ MORE about the Unsolicited Electronic Message Act 2007

My 10 Cents

Third Party Lists aka Purchased Lists: I would personally not recommend these OTHER than a great start for cold telephone calls to verify interest, consent to communicate via email as a one-off, or a voluntary opt-in to your database.

Events & Business Card Draws: You have a fistful of business cards — it’s very tempting to sign them up, isn’t it! Depending on what ‘consent’ this falls under (if at all) as detailed above, firstly consider under what circumstances you have acquired their email address. If it was your event and your business card draw and you specified at the time what would happen once they handed over their card, then expressed or inferred consent may well have been granted. Don’t guess. Plan ahead and make sure your intentions are transparent.

Sharing Your Database: your database is probably the most valued asset you own. Not only should you not share it, you also don’t have explicit permission to, unless granted by your email recipients at the time of opting in.

Privacy Policy: Every website should have one especially if you are requesting self-sign ups. If you don’t, do. It is a simple page that explains and reassures customers of your data collection intentions and their rights as consumers. It can be a simple page that sits in the footer of your website. Here’s an example with my Privacy Policy. Amongst many things, cover what won’t happen to their email address (eg: you won’t sell their personal details).

Still unsure? Contact Me and we can have a chat.Save







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