How to Collect Consent with GDPR-compliant Forms
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union law regulating consumer privacy and data use, which holds organizations accountable for keeping personal data secure and outlines procedures for data collection, storage and use. These regulations apply to any business based in the EU or handling the personal data of EU citizens, making it a must-follow for any global business.
So if you’re hosting webinars and online events, you’ll need to obtain marketing permissions from your audience in a way that complies with GDPR regulations. According to the GDPR, the consent you obtain must be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. You also need to clearly explain how you plan to use their personal data. BigMarker includes the option to add GDPR-compliant language within your registration forms and emails. Our optional, GDPR-friendly forms include checkboxes for opt-in consent, and editable sections that explain how and why you are using data.
In this article, you’ll learn how to create GDPR-compliant registration forms and emails on BigMarker. (Some of this information is adapted from Mailchimp’s GDPR compliance guide.)
About the GDPR:
Before we start, here are some things to know:
- IMPORTANT: BigMarker offers tools and resources, but we do not provide legal advice. In cases of doubt, contact your local legal counsel to confirm the GDPR’s impact on you and your business, as well as your compliance with those regulations.
- Enabling GDPR fields on your signup forms, on its own, does not make your business GDPR-compliant. This is just the first step of the process. To secure compliance from your new and existing contacts, you will need to create a form, create an email segment of individuals that have completed the form, then send an opt-in campaign to those individuals.
- It’s common to upload your company’s existing email contacts as invitees to a BIgMarker event. If you’ve already collected and maintained GDPR-friendly consent from those individuals (i.e, your contacts consented to receive your company’s emails), you can import those marketing permissions to BigMarker. In that case, you will be responsible for demonstrating that your contacts have consented to the marketing permissions you import.
What’s included on a GDPR-compliant registration form?
Now that you know what the GDPR regulation covers, let’s learn how to create a compliance form. Below are the required fields:
This communicates your reasons for collecting the information on this form; for example, providing event and product updates.
This uses checkboxes to obtain consent for each marketing activity you conduct. Each activity must be clearly communicated and provide a separate opt-in checkbox.
This field explains how your business will use your customers’ data, so provide a brief explanation that is consistent with your actual business practices.
The GDPR also requires businesses to identify themselves by providing their name, address and contact information within this language.
Also tell your recipients that they can unsubscribe from your emails at any time.
How do I add GDPR-compliant fields to my BigMarker webinar registration form?
Starting from your webinar dashboard, select the Manage Webinar tab. On the left-hand menu that appears, choose Custom Registration Fields. To add GDPR fields, click the Add GDPR Fields button, located to the right of the blue Add Fields button.
Then use the following checkboxes to require all of your registrants to complete this field, then save it as a default for your future webinars and events. You may also opt to remove this field from your registration form, but only if your invitees have already provided marketing permissions to your company on one of your other marketing channels (for example, if your invitees already consented to receive emails from your company, etc.).
Note: Just above the Save button are two auto opt-in fields: Auto Opt-In and Auto Opt-In US Only. If checked, anyone who completes the registration form is automatically opted into receiving marketing emails from the host company. Do NOT activate auto opt-in if your audience has members from the European Union, as this will be a violation of the GDPR.
How do I ensure my BigMarker emails comply with the GDPR?
Since the GDPR also applies to email communications, also ensure that your BigMarker emails meet those standards. BigMarker’s automated email template is designed to meet these regulations, but your marketing team should review these fields and edit them to meet your marketing needs if needed.
First, your emails need to include an option to opt out of future communications. All BigMarker emails include this unsubscribe text in the footer, which can be removed only in select circumstances.
Like any email, you’re also required to include your company name, office location and contact details in the footer, as this enables recipients to contact you if they want to manage or remove their personal data. All BigMarker emails require you to provide this contact information in the footer.
Finally, tell your recipients how they were added to your email list. Besides reminding them why they signed up, this also ensures that they don’t mistake your message for spam. You can add this to the body copy of your email.
How do I create GDPR-compliant emails on BigMarker?
From your webinar dashboard, select the Emails and Invitations tab. Select your desired email template or create a new email.
This will lead you to the email editor, where you’ll proceed through four customization steps. The second step, “Email Content,” is where you will insert your GDPR-compliant language. Under the Email Content, add this messaging in the provided textbox, along with your email’s body copy.
To create your GDPR-friendly footer, select the Footer tab. Here, you will add your business contact information. Although unsubscribe text is included below, it is included in your BigMarker communications by default, and can only be removed for registration confirmation emails or for emails from White Label accounts.