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DIA and Anti-SPAM Questions

A couple of days ago I thought I would send the DIA an email asking them to provide me with any guidelines they have related to the unsubscribe facility and sender contact details within text messages.

I have to say that I am very impressed with the response rate of my emails from DIA and the helpfulness.

Below is the second email to DIA. The first was confirming with them something that I add missed in the DIA Anti-SPAM business guide.

Thank you for your speedy reply.

You are correct in that the PDf does provide an example of the Anti-SPAM requirements within a text message. This looks great as I assumed that a contact address/phone number would need to be supplied as well.

If its okay I would like to supply some additional examples for your review and comment. These examples are based around our own clients who will be sending text through our systems as well as commercial email.

As an introduction I work for a NZ based company that provides systems that enable our clients to send commercial email and text in bulk. We have always had strict polices around our clients emailing and management of subscribers. Our systems only support double confirmed opt-in subscriptions. We take the Anti-SPAM Act very seriously and are currently adding extra functionality to help our clients understand and comply with the Act. Therefore the examples below and your responses will be used to educate our clients.

Example 1:
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A nationally based business with branches all over NZ. The name of the fictitious business is “Speedy Cars”.
Now if the following branches of the company (Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch) of “Speedy Cars” were to send out a commercial text message would the following characters be sufficient for the Anti-SPAM Act?

“Speedy Cars: Wgtn. Reply OPT-OUT to unsubscribe”

“Speedy Cars: Auck. Reply OPT-OUT to unsubscribe”

“Speedy Cars: Chch. Reply OPT-OUT to unsubscribe”

The examples above also raise the topic of supported acronyms and abbreviations for common terms and locations. In my example I use “Auck” to denote “Auckland” is this a valid abbreviation? What are the governments guidelines for this?

Example 2
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A nationally based business with a very long business name of “Top Business furnishings to the World”

As you can see this business name is very long – what are the governments guidelines to somehow reducing the business name? Can a common abbreviation used by the company within marketing media be used instead? If so what are the guidelines?


Example 3
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What are the guideless around SMS systems that send text messages that cannot accept replies? For example the business requires that the recipient of the text email to unsubscribe? If this is acceptable I assume some thing like the following could be sufficient:

“Speedy Cars: Chch. Email sender@domain.com to unsubscribe”

Below is the DIA response to my email above:

Hi Marc

Thank you for your questions. I have responded to each example below, and am happy to discuss at any stage if required.

In example 1, commonly used abbreviated place names as described are suitable for identifying the specific location of the sender. The example would be compliant in that respect. Another point you may wish to consider that is not covered in the example is to ensure that the electronic message includes accurate information about how the recipient can readily contact the sender, such as a mobile phone number or business phone number. (s 10(b))

In example 2, the abbreviated use of a companies name is suitable, as long as the abbreviation would allow the recipient to clearly and accurately identify the sender. Organisations like TVNZ (media), VTNZ (warrant of fitness), Sparc (Sports) or NZCT (gaming trust) are known by their abbreviations, so they should not have a problem with abbreviations in terms of s 10, but not many recipients will know who the sender is when they receive a text message from “TBFOTW” (as per the example).

In example 3, an email address used as an unsubscribe function in a text message is not suitable. The unsubscribe facility should allow the recipient to respond to the sender using the same method of communication (s 11(c)). If you send commercial text messages, you must arrange an unsubscribe facility through text messaging and free of charge (unless s11(2) applies).

The thing to remember as well is you will need to add a contact number in as well. See below for confirmation from DIA on this requirement.

Another point you may wish to consider that is not covered in the example is to ensure that the electronic message includes accurate information about how the recipient can readily contact the sender, such as a mobile phone number or business phone number. (s 10(b))

Anti Spam Compliance Solutions For You & Your Business

To see how we can help you and your business comply with the NZ Anti-SPAM Act click here

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