Opt-in is generally defined as a situation where customers provide their personal information (like an email address or phone number) to an organization, with the expectation that they'll receive marketing communications as a result. The consent given can be implicit or explicit. It's important to understand the differences between these two types of consent, as laws such as CAN-SPAM, TCPA, CCPA, and GDPR have changed the way customer data and communication is handled.
Implicit consent is given when an individual provides their information for a business purpose but has not explicitly stated that they want to receive marketing communications. Implicit consent is denoted as "Unknown Consent" on the customer profile, and means that the consent value is null or unknown in the customer database. For some channels, like email, Zaius will default to include customers with implied consent when sending marketing messages. For other channels, like SMS, a more conservative approach is taken, defaulting to requiring explicit consent to send marketing messages. You can learn more about best practices for SMS consent here.
To control whether implied/unknown consent may be used to send a marketing message, on channels where this option is available, update your preferences using App Consent Settings.
By setting the Default Consent value to "Opted In," customers with implied/unknown consent are treated as being opted in, and receive the marketing messages on this channel. By setting the Default Consent value to "Opted Out," customers with implied consent/null consent are treated as opted out and will not receive messages. In other words, setting this value to "Opted Out" will ensure that marketing on this channel is only delivered to explicitly opted-in customers. Please consult with your legal team as to the appropriate settings for your business.
Explicit consent is given when you ask an individual for permission to send them marketing and they agree. The future recipient must manually opt-in by taking action. The submission of a form that includes an email address or phone number field is not sufficient for explicit consent. However, the inclusion of an unchecked checkbox that the individual must click is acceptable. Customers with explicit consent will be included in marketing campaigns by default.
Correct example of obtaining explicit opt-in:
You are collecting email addresses in a form, hosted in a Web Embed, where your customers can enter their email and check a box for opting in for SMS communications from you. After your customers submit the form, you can send your first promotional message along with opt-out instructions.
Incorrect example of obtaining explicit opt-in:
Your customer has not yet submitted her phone number and checked a box for opting in for SMS communications from you, but you send her a message and provide her the option to opt out. This method is prohibited because you have not obtained prior consent. Simply providing an opt-out is not a substitute for obtaining consent.
See the example below for proper explicit opt-in for email or SMS.
Import Explicit Consent
The example below shows a correctly formatted consent event file, where the action is opt-in for consent or opt-out to exclude the identifier from marketing. If a customer has multiple identifiers on which they could receive messages, this process must be followed for each. File names for these imports begin with zaius_events.
Import Explicit Email Consent from Shopify
Shopify syncs a true/false customer field to Zaius called Shopify Accepts Marketing, along with a timestamp for when this value was set. This field is set in Shopify when someone checks the Keep me up to date with news and offers box when checking out. Beginning in mid-March 2020, this field is translated to explicit consent (when true) or marketing opt-out (when false) in Zaius, specifically for the email identifier on the Shopify customer record. If the timestamp on the value is before the last time consent was updated in Zaius, the current consent status will be kept. For example:
- February 22: The customer opts-in to marketing when they order. A true value for Accepts Marketing with a current timestamp is sent to Zaius, so now the customer record indicates that they are opted-in.
- February 28: The customer revokes consent after receiving an email. The customer record shows that they are opted out and the current timestamp is stored. The Accepts Marketing value on their profile does not change, but the email record shows that they have opted-out since receiving that info.
- March 3: The customer logs into their account online and changes their shipping address. A customer update is sent to Zaius where the Accepts Marketing value is true with a timestamp from February 22. Since that timestamp is behind the customer's latest consent record, this value is ignored and the customer remains opted-out.
The field is checked for updates during any Shopify customer update, like an order, account change, etc.
Prior to mid-March 2020, Shopify's Accepts Marketing field had no impact on the consent status for a customer. If desired, filter customers in or out of Zaius email campaigns by adding a simple AND expression to your customer segment. See below:
In addition to the Accepts Marketing value influencing consent in Zaius, to comply with Shopify's Terms of Service, email consent data for existing Shopify customers is synced back to the Shopify Accepts Marketing field nightly when changes occur Zaius-side. Zaius does not create new Shopify customers; only existing customers are updated. Only integrations installed after mid-March 2020 follow this process.
Effect on Zaius content
When creating web modals and web embeds, the editor will validate the email or phone number, opt-in, and submit button fields. This automatic validation helps ensure that the form is submitted with identifiable information and proper consent. Learn more about each field validation below:
- Email or Phone: This field helps ensure that the submission is properly attributed to a customer profile.
- Opt-in: This field helps to ensure that the submission provides express consent for future marketing communications. By default, this field will also include a general disclaimer about the purpose of the approval. This disclaimer can be customized.
- Submit button: This field allows the submission to occur.
Zaius favors explicit consent in these situations as it provides you (the sender) more protection concerning email privacy and compliance regulations. Additionally, it provides transparency for your customers (the recipient) concerning their future relationship with your brand's marketing communications.