What is a Solus email?

What is a Solus Email?

Upside.Digital have been working with the ACMA recently on educating both publishers and advertisers on what we see are key areas which publishers and advertisers do not have a clear understanding, and to set some guidelines around these sections.

It should be noted that these guidelines refer to “solus emails” being sent by publishers on behalf of advertisers promoting their product or service. If you are sending any other commercial emails and are unclear how the sections within the Spam Act apply to you, you should seek legal advice.

Solus email is nowadays a common term used among advertisers, publishers, and anyone working in the email marketing business. Contained in the solus email is a third-party advertisement, sent by a publisher to a certain email list. Hence, the email is not sent by the Advertiser itself, but by a publisher that owns an email list. It’s a common practice since it gives the advertiser the possibility to reach out to potential new customers, that they would not be able to reach otherwise. There’s usually a set of demographic criteria agreed between the advertiser and publisher, such as targeting of specific regions, ages, gender, etc.

The publisher will normally pay the advertiser per valid lead they receive from the campaign, or it can also be based on amount of sends (‘CPM’), amounts of clicks (‘PPC’), amount of acquisitions (‘CPA’), or commission based.

Per definition a solus email will not contain advertisement from any other advertiser, hence they do not need to compete with other offers in the same space (e.g. as in a Groupon email).
There are a set or legal requirements that needs to be met by the advertiser and publisher to send solus emails. This include three key elements to the Spam Act 2003, which are:

Example of solus email

An example of a solus email campaign would be if a mobile phone provider approach a publisher to get potential customers to buy a new phone. The advertiser would then normally provide an email creative to the publisher, and after agreeing on any targeting (e.g. gender, location) and how many leads they want to pay for, the publisher sends the email out to parts of the entire email list inventory that they possess. The recipients interested in the offer would then normally sign up using an online form, and the advertiser then receive contact details to these potential customers.
Below is an example of how a solus email could look:


Publisher EDM example