How is Instant Audiences legal in Australia?

This article will address some common questions about the Instant Audiences product, providing information that you can share with your legal team and clarify the value of Instant for your business.

How is Instant Audiences legal?

Instant has consent to process all shopper emails on any online store using Instant’s products and services. These include but are not limited to Instant Checkout, Instant SMS and Instant Audiences.

This consent is acknowledged at the point an online shopper enters or fulfills their email address on any merchant site using Instant’s services. Instant is able to recognise where a shopper is interacting within the Instant network, once consent is received. 

At any time, a shopper has a right to simply withdraw their consent by requesting that Instant or the merchant delete their information.

Do merchants need to update their website or notify shoppers to use Instant Audiences?

Instant will only enable merchants to access or use Instant Audiences as a service when the merchant agrees to and abides by the following conditions:

  1. Instant will only process and share email addresses from Australian website traffic;
  2. The merchant has a Privacy Policy which is publicly available on their website, and which aligns with the terms of the Instant Privacy Policy;
  3. Where applicable, the merchant has a Cookie Policy which is publicly available on their website, and which aligns with the terms of the Instant Cookie Policy.

During the onboarding or integration stage, the merchant may need to update their Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to reflect these policies, and ensure that visitors or shoppers to their online stores are clearly able to access how the merchant may process their personal information - including through the use of cookies or 3rd Party Providers like Instant. 


Is sending an email to a shopper compliant?

Yes, email marketing is legal in Australia. However, there are certain limitations to this, and you must ensure that your business does not send spam

A business cannot send an unsolicited email to anyone, eg. someone who has never visited your website or engaged with your brand. Anyone you are communicating with must provide consent, either by opt-in (filling out a form) or inferred (browsing on your site, or abandoning cart).

Instant ensures consent is received. We will only ever provide you the email address of an engaged shopper. We will never provide you the email address of someone who has never visited your website, not provided consent or not engaged with your brand.

How about brand reputation?

There’s evidence to show that Australians react relatively well to email marketing tactics. In fact, in 2020, Australia had the second highest click-to-open rate in the world for marketing emails with 14.8% of users participating - [Source:].

Instant will only share the email address of a shopper who has engaged with your brand - meaning they probably expect your email. There would only be risk of brand harm if you were emailing or engaging with someone out of the blue, who has no clue who you are.

Avoid sending spam to further protect your brand.


Is Instant compliant with Australia’s Spam Act?

Yes. ‘Spam’ is a term commonly used to refer to promotional emails or emails you do not wish to receive. However, spam also has a legal meaning. 

If your business engages in email marketing, it is important that you understand what Australian spam law prohibits you from doing and what it requires you to do. If you send or have someone else send your marketing emails or messages, you need to know about spam laws. The Spam Act 2003 and the Spam Regulations set out your responsibilities under Australian law.

As a merchant, you are responsible for any and all marketing communication. In Australia - in any marketing message or email that you send, you must ensure it:

  1. Clearly identifies you as the sender
  2. Contains your contact information
  3. Makes it easy to unsubscribe and opt-out

Here are other effective practices to ensure your compliance:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information: Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines: The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located: Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This should be your company's registered address.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you: Your email must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognise, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 5 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list.