Using SmartSurvey to Collect GDPR Consent

Important- this article does not constitute legal advice. You should ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities regarding personal data at all times while using SmartSurvey. About GDPR compliance

SmartSurvey, when used with piping and the email tool, can be used to quickly and simply collect improved marketing consent from your users.

We’re going to show you how to send an email out to your existing subscribers, and allow them to consent to further communications. 

  1. To start with, you’ll need to create a survey. This is what will be used to collect the consent.
  2. Create a “Descriptive Text” Question, with the text:
    Subscribe to Our Updates
    To continue receiving emails from us, we need your consent.
    If you do not wish to consent to emails, simply close this form without clicking confirm.”.
  3. Under this, Create a “Single Textbox” question, with the following question text:
    This is the Email Address we have stored for you. If you wish to amend it, edit this box
  4. Click “Question Size and Positioning” and then in the “Default Answer” box, click “Insert piping” , then choose “Email Address” from the drop-down and click insert, then click “Add Question”.
  5. Create another question, Multiple Choice (Multiple Answers)
    Question Text:
    Check the box below to consent to continuing to receive emails.
    Answer Text:
    I agree to receive news, tips and promotional material from ***Name of Your Organisation*** by email.
  6. Tick “Require an answer to this question”. Edit the error message to say:
    This question requires an answer. If you do not wish to consent, simply close this form without clicking confirm.
  7. Then Cllck “Add Question”.
  8. Then add a final “Descriptive text” question, with the text:
    By clicking “Confirm”, you confirm that you have read our Privacy Policy.
  9. Use the “make link” tool to link the words “Privacy Policy” to your privacy policy page.
  10. Click “Add Question”.
  11. Now Click “Settings”.  On the “General” section, you can rename the title of your survey to something appropriate.
  12. On the “Appearance” section, untickShow Page Numbers” and “Show Question Numbers”. Change the “Finish Button” Text to:
  13. On the “Finish” section, change the Heading Text to:
    Thank you for Subscribing
    and the Thank you text to
    Thanks for subscribing, we’ll be in touch soon. Don’t forget you can unsubscribe at any time.
  14. Untick “Enable Redirect”.
  15. Click “Save Changes”. The survey is now set up, so go to “Collect” and click “Open”.

Now, you need to set up an email invitation.

We don’t need to go into full detail here as almost everything you need to know is in the Creating and Using Contact Lists guide.

When uploading your contact list, it should only include people who have previously given their consent. Sending a message like this to opted-out users could be a violation of the rules.

Create the Email as described in the "using contact lists" guide, by choosing a contact list to use and creating a message.

For the Subject Line, you can put anything you like that you think your users will engage with.

For the message, use this text as a base. Do not alter the [SURVEYLINK] or [OPTOUT] tags:

Dear customer,

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, we need to ensure that we have your consent for future marketing communications. If you wish to consent to these communications, click the following link, and complete the online form: [SURVEYLINK]

This link is uniquely tied to this email and your email address. Please do not forward this message.

If you do not wish to receive further emails from us, please click the link below, and you will be automatically removed from our mailing list.

Once the survey has been sent out, you can export all responses to get a list of email addresses with consent, along with the time and date that the survey was completed. This would be good evidence of consent under GDPR.

With minor changes, the survey can be used as a general signup form, by rewording the email address question to remove the references to changing it. 

The example given relates to email marketing, but if you have multiple communications channels such as SMS, or push notifications, (or multiple email streams for different products, for instance) you can add extra tickboxes to the “check the box” question to cover those channels. If there are other forms of processing you intend to do, You can also add extra fields at step 4 for phone numbers, or street address information, and use piping to insert that information as default answers (see Piping Custom Contact List Fields).

To use the Default Answer Feature, You’ll need a Business-Level Account.

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