Consent – best practice by double opt-in

To live upto the GDPR regulation while at the same time minimize the risk of people dropping out of giving consent mid-way can be tricky. In this blog I will use functionality in ClickDimensions for the more hands-on parts to achieve this. Most of you have probably heard of the double opt-in process as it is usually cited as the best practice when it comes to obtaining consent online, but let’s go through it anyway.

Double opt-in – the how and why

The double opt-in means that a person first need to accept some terms by actively checking a box before submitting a form. Please note that the box should not be checked in advance on the form to be qualified as an active opt-in. If the box is checked in advanced, it is rather counted as a non-opt-out. After the form is submitted the person will be notified, usually by e-mail, that they need to complete another step to finish the process of opting in. This also verifies that the person that submitted the form is also in charge of the supplied e-mail address. It’s two birds with one stone, we verify the e-mail address and make sure that the person wants to receive information from us.

The simple use case

I want people to be able to sign up for our newsletter. The solution for this is quite simple.

  • Createa form with a mandatory e-mail field and a newsletter checkbox (not checked inadvance) and any other voluntary fields. If the e-mail field AND the checkboxis filled in you can submit the form, otherwise not
  • When the form is submitted, an e-mail is sent asking them to verify the e-mail address and their preference for newsletter (again, not checked in advance)
  • Once verified, the user is flagged to receive newsletters (by a workflow) and the e-mail address is added to a newsletter marketing list

The more advanced use case

I want people to be able to sign up for our newsletter while they submit a multipurpose form. In this case people must be able to submit the form without checking the newsletter box (or perhaps even without entering an e-mail address). So how do we know when to send an opt-in email and when not to? This is a great scenario for using a market/campaign automation tool (the picture below this paragraph shows the market flow I built for this example)

  • When the form is posted we set a temporary flag on the lead/contact that reflect their newsletter checkbox choice and add them to a temporary market list
  • We build a simple market/campaign automation flow that is triggered when a new user is added to the temporary market list
  • In the automation flow we create a decision node that checks if the temporary flagis set to Yes or No and if an e-mail address was submitted or not
  • If Yes, we send the user down the lower path of the flow and if No, the upper
  • The Yes path sends the double opt-in e-mail and wait for a bit. Here you can of course add one or two reminder e-mails before letting the user continue down the path
  • After the opt-in e-mail(s) are sent, the last two steps are the same for both the Yes and No path. The user is removed from the temporary market list and added to a market list containing all users that have submitted an answer, yes or no, to the newsletter question (on any form)
  • When a user submits the double opt-in form they are flagged to receive newsletters(by a workflow) and added to the newsletter market list
  • As an optional last step, we can have a workflow reset the temporary flag on the lead/contact to No
scenario for using a market/campaign automation tool

Conclusion

Everyone must comply with GDPR regulations and fortunately the rules regarding obtaining consent for communication is quite clear, we need a double opt-in process. To comply with this requirement and to be able to handle all kind of forms, you need your system to automatically evaluate the input from posted forms. A market/campaign automation system makes everything a lot easier since you keep track of all form submissions and interactions automatically. Also, when combining that with the information you already have in your CRM, it’s only your imagination that sets the limits.

Contact us >>