Cellarmaster Wines’ online marketing team decided not to play with the rules regarding spam, or unsolicited electronic messages, and now the company is paying the price for it.
Cellarmaster Wines Pty Ltd, a direct wine sales business, owned by Australian retail giant Woolworths, has been slapped with a $110,000 fine for sending marketing emails that failed to comply with measures outlined in the Spam Act.
The spam messages in question included over 3,000 emails sent between the months of May and July in 2012, many of which did not include any unsubscribe details together with promotions for Cellarmaster Wines’ website, as found in an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
ACMA’s investigation also showed that besides sending emails without an opt-out option, Cellarmaster Wines also sent emails to customers who had already unsubscribed from these messages.
Spam Act Details
According to the 2003 Spam Act, all emails of a marketing nature can only be sent to recipients with their consent and MUST provide the function for recipients to refuse receiving any further marketing messages.
According to ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, Cellarmaster Wines’ case is simply an example of a business that has failed to pay careful attention to the rules outlined in the spam act.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Cellarmaster issued a statement, saying that the company is taking its compliance obligations very seriously, cooperating with the investigation of its systems by ACMA.
Cellarmasters has already paid the $110,000 infringement notice.
Cellarmaster Wines’ spam gaffe not only puts them in the crosshairs of ACMA, it also places the company in hot water in the eyes of their customers. Such incidents are not uncommon, and when they occur, it can really harm a business’s reputation, what with unhappy customers and all.
There’s nothing worse than constantly receiving messages you already opted out of in the first place. Cellarmaster not only loses their existing customers with their spam emails, they also stand to lose potential customers from the negative impressions alone.
Serves as a Warning
Cellarmaster Wines’ spam incident should serve as a warning to others to be mindful of their email messages, and have an understanding of just how their email systems work. The company is just one of the many organizations in the country to receive a slap on the hand from ACMA. Groupon is another company that received a warning from ACMA after customers complained of the difficulty it took to unsubscribe from Groupon emails.
At Enform, we believe that if your emails are designed carefully and thoughtfully, there should not be a problem with sending messages on a daily basis. The key here is to offer subscribers an opt-out option, or better yet, the better and more practical option of allowing subscribers to choose how often they want to receive emails.
To make your emails more effective without resorting to spam tactics, trying segmenting your email lists to compartmentalize your subscribers. This way, you can create messages tailored to a specific audience, gearing towards people who are more likely to be interested in their content.