Messaging • Last Updated 1/25/2024

How to text Australia: A business communications guide

This guide provides helpful tips for texting in Australia. Learn how to send text messages to Australia and avoid common mistakes.

By Adeniyi Makinde

Are you struggling to send text messages to Australia? Whether you're a business owner, marketer, or salesperson, we’ve got you covered. Sending text messages (also called SMS) to Australia is easy, but it requires attention to detail to ensure your message gets delivered. This guide will cover the ins and outs of texting to Australia, including formatting, country codes, and regulatory compliance.

Sending a text to Australia

Australian phone numbers are typically composed of 10 digits, including a two-digit area code and an eight-digit local number. Understanding this structure is key to ensuring your messages are correctly delivered.

Australian phone number formatting

The standard format for Australian phone numbers includes the country code +61, followed by the area code (without the leading zero when dialing internationally), and then the eight-digit local number. For example, a Sydney number might be formatted as +61 2 1234 5678.

Australian country code

Including the country code +61 is crucial when texting someone in Australia. This signals to the mobile network that the message is destined for an Australian recipient. You can add the country code by holding down the "0" key until a "+" symbol appears, or type "0061" before the Australian phone number.

Once you’ve formatted the Australian phone number correctly, you can enter it into the "Recipient" field on your messaging app and send your message. Again, including the country code is essential. Otherwise, your message may not be delivered to the recipient in Australia.

Staying compliant while texting Australia

Based on the information from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on complying with Australia's Anti-Spam Legislation, here are four key compliance considerations for sending SMS and email marketing messages in Australia:

Obtain proper consent

Marketers must obtain either express or inferred consent to send promotional marketing emails or messages. Express consent is explicitly agreeing to receive messages, while inferred consent is based on a reasonable expectation of receiving marketing messages due to the nature of the relationship.

Include sender identification and contact details

Each message must include the sender's identification, which can be the brand's legal business name or the brand's name along with its Australian Business Number (ABN). Additionally, contact information or a link to it must be included.

Include an opt-out mechanism

All marketing messages must include a clear opt-out mechanism that honors the request to unsubscribe within five working days, does not incur more than the standard charge, and does not require the recipient to provide additional personal information or create/log into an account.

Record keeping of consent

Marketers must keep records of the consent given, including the timestamp of consent acquisition, the medium through which consent was obtained, and the customer’s phone number.

These guidelines come from the Spam Act (2003) and Spam Regulations (2021) and are enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). They are designed to protect consumers from unsolicited commercial electronic messages and ensure transparency and respect for consumer preferences in digital marketing.

5 steps to send a text to Australia

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of formatting guidelines and regulatory compliance, you're ready to send your first text message to Australia. Follow these steps to dispatch your message:

  1. Inspect the number to ensure it's in the correct format.
  2. Make sure to include Australia’s country code (+61).
  3. Input the correctly-formatted number into the "Recipient" field.
  4. Ensure your message complies with any local or international regulations when sending texts to Australia.
  5. Compose and send your message.

Now that you know how to format and send a text message to Australia, it's important to follow some best practices to ensure your messages are delivered successfully and comply with local regulations.

Best practices for texting Australian numbers

When texting in Australia, businesses must navigate specific regulations and best practices to ensure effective and compliant communication. A key legal requirement is adherence to the Spam Act 2003, which mandates obtaining recipient consent for sending SMS messages. This consent can be either explicit or inferred from an existing business relationship. It's crucial for businesses to respect this law to avoid legal repercussions and maintain customer trust. Additionally, messages should be sent during reasonable hours, typically between 8am and 9pm local time, to avoid intruding on recipients' privacy and comfort.

Another important aspect is the clarity and brevity of the messages. SMS communications should be concise and straightforward, ideally kept under 160 characters due to SMS technical limits. This practice not only ensures compliance with messaging standards but also enhances the readability and effectiveness of the communication. By focusing on clear, direct messaging and respecting legal guidelines, businesses can foster positive engagement with their Australian audience, ensuring their messages are both well-received and compliant with national standards.

In addition to these recommendations, Australian businesses should register their sender IDs with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to prevent their messages from being blocked or marked as spam in Australia. They should also comply with Australia’s strict regulations around SMS spam and privacy by ensuring they’re not sending unwanted messages and that they’re collecting and using customer data in compliance with Australia’s data protection laws.

To avoid delivery issues, businesses should double-check phone numbers before sending messages. By following these best practices, businesses can increase the chances of their messages being delivered successfully and avoid any potential legal issues.

Choosing the right greeting for your text message to Australia

When sending text messages in Australia, it's important to choose the right greeting to ensure the success of your communication. The greeting not only sets the tone for the conversation but also helps in establishing a connection with the recipient. Therefore, it's crucial to select a greeting that is suitable for the context and the audience.

A key aspect to consider when choosing a greeting is the level of formality or informality that is appropriate for the message. For instance, a formal business communication might call for a more formal greeting, such as "Dear [Name]" or "Hello [Name]." For example, “Dear Samantha,” or “Hello David.” This type of greeting is respectful and professional, aiding in establishing credibility and trust with the recipient.

Conversely, for an informal message, a more casual greeting like "Hi," "Hey," or "G’day" can be used. These greetings are relaxed and conversational, fostering a friendly tone and building rapport with the recipient. They are particularly effective in creating a sense of familiarity and ease.

Another important factor to consider is the relationship between the sender and the recipient. For instance, if you are texting an existing customer or someone familiar with your products or services, a more informal greeting might be suitable. However, for new prospects or individuals who have not previously interacted with you, a more formal greeting could be more fitting to establish a professional tone and build credibility.

Text Australia: how to get started

With these tips and recommendations, you're ready to send SMS messages to Australia with confidence. Whether you're sending a personal message or business communication, understanding the formatting and regulatory compliance is essential to ensure your message gets delivered.

If you’re looking for more guidance on global texting, Telnyx’s team of experts can help you navigate the complexities of international communication. Telnyx is a next-gen communications platform that offers a global private IP network, multi-cloud redundancy, and carrier-grade services. Our developer-friendly SMS API and intelligent features make it easy to build messaging capabilities into your existing apps. We also offer support and guidance to help you grow and scale your business.

With competitive pricing and a wide variety of phone numbers in over 140 countries, Telnyx provides cost-effective messaging solutions with unmatched expertise. Our deliverability reports help businesses optimize their messaging campaigns, while easy implementation and a complete set of features make it easy to get started.

Contact our experts today to learn how we can help your business communicate effectively with contacts in Australia and 140 other countries.

Note: This is not legal advice. Consult your legal team and the appropriate regulatory authorities before beginning an SMS message campaign in Australia.
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