04.10.2023

Sales & CRM

HubSpot GDPR Compliance: The Power of Double Opt-In

10 min read

Rebecca

Hand holding security lock

In this blog article, we will explore the benefits of implementing double opt-in in your email marketing strategy using HubSpot. We will guide you through the process of setting up double opt-in in HubSpot's CRM, discussing its advantages, compliance with GDPR regulations, and steps to avoid potential pitfalls. 

Are you looking to enhance your email marketing strategy and ensure compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR?

The choice between single opt-in and double opt-in can significantly impact your engagement and security levels. While single opt-in offers simplicity, double opt-in provides an extra layer of security and valuable insights into customer preferences.

Single Opt-in vs Double Opt-in: The key difference

Single opt-in is a user-friendly, simple email strategy that requires users to input their email address once at the point of setting up. By entering their information one time, users automatically become list members and can begin receiving marketing emails from your company immediately.

This type of registration method does not require any follow up confirmation from the user, making single opt-in the easier choice for companies new to email marketing.

Double opt-in is similar to single opt-in in that it appears no different from its predecessor to user visible setup. However, double opt-in requires the user to verify their subscription by clicking a link sent via Opt-In email after they have set up their account on your site. This email confirmation serves as the "second act" of opting in, providing an additional layer of assurance that the user genuinely wants to join your email list.

Advantages of double opt-in

Double opt-in not only provides an extra layer of security to ensure HubSpot GDPR compliance and increased knowledge through capturing additional details about contacts that will help provide useful insights into customer success and preferences in the future.

This form of registration allows companies to capture details beyond just an email address when, for example, asking users questions about how they heard about you or what industries they work in.

Additionally, double opt-in limits can help reduce the risk of having contact information fall into malicious hands as it ensures that new contacts are legitimate before adding them to your list. This can potentially reduce spam complaints and unsubscribe requests associated with your communications.

Finally, this process helps establish stronger relationships with customers by providing useful content tailored specifically for each person since they have already indicated their interest beforehand.

Double opt-in in HubSpot: Potential Challenges and best practices 

When implementing Double Opt-In (DOI) for your marketing mail subscriptions, there are several potential challenges to be aware of. These challenges often relate to the options available in the DOI settings and the specific pages involved in the process.

Let's explore these challenges in more detail:

  1. Options in DOI Settings: The challenges associated with DOI are closely tied to the choices available in the DOI settings, which include:
  • All pages: This option is not necessarily customisable and applies DOI to all pages uniformly.
  • Enabled for some pages only: This allows for a customised DOI process, which may require additional considerations and implementation steps.
  • Disabled for some pages only: This option is commonly used to exclude "transactional" forms (such as contact forms) from the DOI process.
  1. Handling the Existing Database: Before enabling DOI, it's important to consider how to handle your existing contact database. DOI implementation often aims to obtain confirmation for the contact's marketing mail subscriptions, ensuring legal compliance and proof of consent.

  2. Transactional Topic Relevance: Depending on the chosen DOI implementation approach, the relevance of transactional topics may vary. Custom-built processes (option 2 above) may require more attention to ensure proper handling of transactional emails. On the other hand, when using options like "all pages" or "disabled for some pages only," the send-out emails are already considered transactional.

  3. Proper Use of GDPR Functionalities: For custom-built DOI processes, it's crucial to utilise the GDPR functionalities in forms correctly. For example, when employing the GDPR tool in a form with a subscription type confirmation, form submitters can subscribe to a specific type before confirming their email address. This is particularly important in custom processes.

  4. Consideration of Contact Sources: It's essential to examine different contact sources beyond form submissions and determine whether they should be included in the custom-built DOI process or if a manual process for sending confirmation emails should be defined. For instance, contacts generated at events or fairs may require specific considerations and handling.

  5. Utilising "Legal Basis for Communication Required" Functionality: Implementing the "legal basis for communication required" functionality adds an additional layer of security to a custom DOI process. This ensures compliance with legal requirements and strengthens the overall DOI implementation.

By considering and addressing these potential challenges, you can navigate the DOI implementation process more effectively and ensure a smooth and compliant experience for your subscribers.

Note: It's important to consult legal professionals or experts in your jurisdiction to ensure compliance with local regulations when implementing DOI.

Overcoming Regional Differences in Double Opt-in with HubSpot

When it comes to implementing double opt-in in HubSpot for businesses operating in multiple regions, such as having offices in both the US and Germany, a challenge arises.

While the US office may not require double opt-in, the German office is obligated to follow this practice. Some countries have double opt-in (DOI) as mandatory, so it is important to provide an extra layer of security. However, in other instances, HubSpot enables businesses to be compliant based on their location. So, how can you navigate this situation using HubSpot's standard double opt-in feature?

Currently, HubSpot does not provide a specific solution to address this regional disparity. However, there are workarounds that can be utilised. Let's explore an alternative approach that we have successfully implemented to overcome this limitation by leveraging HubSpot's transactional email tool.

To begin, we start at the form level. Instead of relying on the standard HubSpot double opt-in features, we create a custom consent checkbox as a property in the form. This checkbox triggers a workflow that performs several actions to ensure compliance and a smooth user experience.

Firstly, the workflow clears the consent property to avoid pre-ticked boxes when a user returns to the form. Next, the workflow branches based on the user's location. If the user is from Germany or Austria, they are directed to a double opt-in branch.

In this branch, a transactional email is sent, containing a link to the preference center. The user can click on the link to actively opt themselves in, thus fulfilling the requirements of double opt-in. On the other hand, if the user is not from Germany or Austria, the workflow sets an email preference on the contact, considering they are not subject to the double opt-in requirement.

Handling situations where a user has previously opted out requires additional considerations. Due to HubSpot's workflow limitations, it cannot directly opt someone into a subscription if they have already opted out. However, you can employ a similar approach to the German and Austrian double opt-in method. Send a transactional email to users who have opted out, informing them of their previous choice and providing them with an option to re-opt in by following a link.

It's important to note that our workaround primarily caters to businesses operating in multiple countries with distinct requirements, especially when dealing with languages and regulatory variations. For businesses facing a single opt-out situation, such as in the German and Austrian scenarios, sending a transactional email to re-establish consent can also be an effective solution.

This alternative approach enables businesses to address the double opt-in compliance needs across regions while working within HubSpot's existing capabilities. Until HubSpot releases a feature allowing the conditional triggering of double opt-in based on criteria such as a user's country, this workaround provides a viable solution.

To sum it up

Implementing double opt-in is a valuable strategy to enhance user engagement, build trust, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR. By requiring users to confirm their subscription through a separate email or landing page, businesses can ensure that their email list consists only of genuinely interested contacts. 

Working with a HubSpot partner brings expertise and knowledge of HubSpot's capabilities and best practices. They can help you navigate the complexities of double opt-in implementation, especially when operating in multiple regions with varying requirements. 

At Huble Digital, our team of experts can assist you in configuring custom consent checkboxes, setting up workflows, and sending transactional emails to ensure compliance and a seamless user experience. By partnering with us, you can streamline your double opt-in process, protect your contact database from malicious activities, and strengthen customer trust in your brand.

Navigating the complexities of data protection regulations can be challenging, but our experienced professionals are here to help.

Contact our team for assistance and guidance in enhancing your HubSpot GDPR compliance by optimising your double opt-in strategy.

Not using HubSpot yet?

Book a demo with our team today.

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