Confused about what email marketing rules you need to follow to comply with the Australian privacy laws and to collect email consent or permission?  Here’s a quick overview, specifically for pharma marketing professionals. Want to take this guide with you? Download our email marketing rules guide now (link at bottom).


All commercial emails must follow specific email marketing rules. They must include a way for the receiver to unsubscribe, a link to your company’s privacy policy, and your company’s contact information. Transactional emails, which are strictly factual and triggered by an action the recipient took, like registering for an event, generally do not fall under these requirements.

(usually included in email footer)

  • Link to company privacy policy
  • Link to company contact information
    All commercial emails must contain clear and accurate identification of the sender of the message and information on how you can contact the sender.
  • Link to unsubscribe
    Under the SPAM act, every commercial email must include a obvious unsubscribe link. Unsubscribing must also be free and simple to do (no sign-in required) and honoured within 5 business days. If you do not have an unsubscribe facility, the following simple statement will suffice: “Unsubscribe: if you no longer want to receive messages from us, simply reply to this email with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line.”
  • Copyright statement
    Some companies require that copyright statements be included in the email footer. Copyright © [year] [Company name], [City, State, Country]. All rights reserved. [Local company address]

Capturing Email Marketing Consent

The below are elements users must actively agree to (usually via a tick box) in order for you to collect their ‘expressed consent’ for marketing purposes (also known as ‘permission’). The wording can be changed to some degree.


  • Email consent statement[tick box] I agree to receive information and electronic messages from [company name] including updates on education, services, events and products provided by [company name] (please note some material may be promotional in nature).
  • Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy [tick box] I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
  • Privacy Collection Statement
    Additionally, companies should use a Privacy Notice (sometimes called ‘Privacy Collection Statement’). Essentially, a Notice is an abbreviated, user-friendly version of your privacy policy. It is used to inform users about the aspects of your privacy policy as it relates to the circumstances.[tick box] I have read and accept the Privacy Collection Statement below.[Company name] will collect, record and use your personal information for the purposes of conducting the above activity and providing information about [Company name] products and activities including by way of electronic messages. If you choose not to provide us with your personal information, we may not be able to fulfil these purposes. We will keep your personal information for only as long as is necessary to carry out the purposes described above (unless we are required or permitted by law to hold the information for a longer period). We may disclose your personal information to organisations who assist us and our affiliated companies (which may be located in other countries). If you would like to know more about our privacy policy, including how to access and seek correction of the personal information [Company name] holds about you, how to complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, and how [Company name] handles such complaints, please go to [privacy policy URL] or contact our Privacy Officer at [address].


This resource is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. We attempt to ensure that the content is current but we do not guarantee its currency. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.