Your playbook to optimizing data collection

You can no longer count on third-party data when looking to grow your business online. Prioritizing an owned data strategy will help you collect more personal data and deliver a better online experience for your customers and prospects.

Data collection playbook

Your owned data strategy is all about how you collect personal data. Get this wrong, and you’re stuck with unusable data (we have seen this so many times!). How you collect personal data dictates how you can use it.

What you can do with personal data depends on the following factors:

  • The type of collection point (checkout, newsletter, chatbot etc)
  • The region your customer is in
  • The type of checkbox you use (opt-in v opt-out)
  • The language of the checkbox
  • The Privacy Policy you have in place at the time of collection

Getting a basic understanding of each and identifying the rules that apply to your business will set you up for success.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this guide:

Collect more valuable customer data you can use compliantly

See how Dataships can help you collect compliant customer data you can use to supercharge your marketing campaigns.

Chapter 1

Data collection basics

Region

Data privacy regulations also differ across regions like the EU, UK and US. Even individual countries (France & Germany) and states (California & New York) have their own specific legislation in place.

Optimizing your forms by region/country will allow you to tailor your consent collection to gather more valuable personal data you can actually use throughout your marketing mix.

Form Type

Did you know that data collection rules can vary drastically depending on the context and the type of form you are using for collection?

Data privacy regulations are very different at checkout compared to other data collection points, for example.

Optimizing your forms based on the data collection type will help increase your (owned) marketing audience significantly. That’s right, market to more people and deliver a more personalized buyer experience across each marketing channel. It’s a win-win.

Checkbox (opt-in v opt-out)

Whether you’re asking your users to opt-in or opt-out is a very different proposition. Depending on the context & region, you may be compliant/non-compliant. Once you’ve figured this out, it’s almost always the case that one will convert much better. So you won’t be surprised to hear that optimizing your checkboxes will result in more valuable customer data you can use compliantly. 

Language

How you can use the data you collect largely depends on the language you used at the collection point. Not only that but you need to have a record of the language used for every submission you receive.

Privacy Policy 

Then there’s the privacy policy – an oft-maligned afterthought on many marketers’ to-do lists. However, this is largely changing as more marketers view privacy as a tool to build better customer relationships. 

Highlighting how you plan to collect and use personal data will benefit you and your customers so everyone knows where they stand. An effective privacy policy should set forth the data collection and processing procedures you plan to use. 

Chapter 2

Checkout forms by region

Europe

Legal Basis

If you are collecting an individual’s data when they purchase a product, you don’t need their explicit consent to market to them (similar products or services). You can rely on a soft opt-in or the fact that you have a legitimate interest as a business to contact them.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

The caveat here is that you must allow the user to opt-out at this point in the data collection process. You must also retain a record of the type of checkbox displayed when the data was collected and the privacy policy you were linking to at the time. 

Language

Along with the opt-out box, the accompanying language must clarify that the user should expect to hear from you unless you tell them otherwise. Again, you must be able to point to the type of language displayed to the user at the point of collection. This is crucial.

Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy is an excellent tool for marketers. This is where you build trust with users and go into more detail about how you use their data. Remember, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So to conclude, the optimal way to set up your checkout form is to use legitimate interest and set up your wording and checkboxes so that users can opt-out per channel. Following this process will allow you to collect more valuable data you can use throughout your marketing mix.

UK

Legal Basis

If you are collecting an individual’s data when they purchase a product, you don’t need their explicit consent to market to them (similar products or services). You can rely on a soft opt-in or the fact that you have a legitimate interest as a business to contact them.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

The caveat here is that you must allow the user to opt-out at this point in the data collection process. You must also retain a record of the type of checkbox displayed when the data was collected and the privacy policy you were linking to at the time. 

Language

Along with the opt-out box, the accompanying language must clarify that the user should expect to hear from you unless you tell them otherwise. Again, you must be able to point to the type of language displayed to the user at the point of collection. This is crucial.

Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy is an excellent tool for marketers. This is where you build trust with users and go into more detail about how you use their data. Remember, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So to conclude, the optimal way to set up your checkout form is to use legitimate interest and set up your wording and checkboxes so that users can opt-out per channel. Following this process will allow you to collect more valuable data you can use throughout your marketing mix.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any sort of checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As stated above, you don’t need to display a checkbox to users when collecting their data at checkout. However, this personal data must be still tagged correctly, so you know exactly who you can message across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language at checkout.

Privacy Policy

Your Privacy Policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK and Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So, in the US, you don’t need a checkbox. Still, it’s crucial that you understand what collecting data this way means – the legal basis you’re using and what you can and can’t do with this data.

Chapter 3

Newsletters by region

Europe

Legal Basis

You need consent for email, text and social media while legitimate interest covers direct mail.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

If you are collecting their data purely to send them a newsletter, then no checkbox is needed. However, if you want to use the data for more than a newsletter, you need to display an unticked Opt-in check box.

Language

The tickbox should be worded such as:

“We would like to send you news, special offers and other promotional material that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below:

I would like to receive news, special offers and other promotional material

  • By email
  • By text
  • By social media
  • By direct mail (ticked)*

You can change your preferences at any time as per our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

Like checkout, you should link to your privacy policy so your users know exactly how you plan to use their data. This is great opportunity to build customer trust.

Conclusion

So to conclude, the optimal way to set up your newsletter form is to use consent. You may even use double opt-in consent by emailing users to confirm that they want to join the newsletter list, but this isn’t necessary. It is enough to be transparent with them at the point of collection and ask them if they consent to use the data across different channels. You’ll be surprised how many people will opt-in once you show how respectful you are!

UK

Legal Basis

You need consent for email, text and social media while legitimate interest covers direct mail.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

If you are collecting their data purely to send them a newsletter, then no checkbox is needed. However, if you want to use the data for more than a newsletter, you need to display an unticked Opt-in check box needed.

Language

The tickbox should be worded such as: “We would like to send you news, special offers and other promotional material that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below:

I would like to receive news, special offers and other promotional material

  • By email
  • By text
  • By social media
  • By direct mail (ticked)*

You can change your preferences at any time as per our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

Like checkout, you should link to your privacy policy so your users know exactly how you plan to use their data. This is great opportunity to build customer trust.

Conclusion

Similarly to the EU, the optimal way to set up your newsletter form in the UK is to use consent. Many use double opt-in by emailing users to confirm that they want to join the newsletter list. This isn’t necessary, but it has the dual benefit of ensuring your user entered the correct email. You’ll be surprised how many opt-in to hear from you once you are transparent and allow them choose which channels you use to communicate.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As outlined above, you don’t need a checkbox when collecting subscribers for your newsletter. However, it’s critical to tag this personal data correctly, so you know who wants to be messaged across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language for your newsletter forms.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK & Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So, in the US, you don’t need a checkbox. Still, it’s crucial that you understand what collecting data this way means – the legal basis you’re using and, what you can and can’t do with this data.

Chapter 4

Contact forms by region

Europe

Legal Basis

If someone submits a form this is considered legitimate interest and as such no check box is needed.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your Privacy Policy.

Language

You could include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your Privacy Policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

UK

Legal Basis

If someone submits a form this is considered legitimate interest and as such no check box is needed.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your Privacy Policy.

Language

You could include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your Privacy Policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As outlined above, you don’t need a checkbox when collecting subscribers for your newsletter. However, it’s critical to tag this personal data correctly, so you know who wants to be messaged across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language for your newsletter forms.

Privacy Policy

Your Privacy Policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK & Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Conclusion

So, in the US, you don’t need a checkbox. Still, it’s crucial that you understand what collecting data this way means – the legal basis you’re using and, what you can and can’t do with this data.

Chapter 5

Chatbots by region

Europe

Legal Basis

Just like contact forms, chatbots are considered to legitimate interest so no checkbox is needed. 

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your privacy policy.

Language

You could include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your privacy policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

UK

Legal Basis

Just like contact forms, chatbots are considered to legitimate interest so no checkbox is needed. 

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

No checkbox is needed although as always you should include a link to your privacy policy.

Language

You could include a statement like:

“We need to process your data in order to respond to you. Your data will only be processed for this purpose, and will not be used for anything else. Your information will be handled in line with our Privacy Policy”

Privacy Policy

As outlined throughout this guide, you should include a link to your privacy policy wherever you collect personal data. This will showcase your commitment to your customers’ privacy and help you build stronger relationships in the long run.

USA

Legal Basis

In the US, you don’t need to have a check box as no consent is needed to email people. By having any checkbox in play, you’re likely creating unnecessary friction for your users and creating a bottleneck for personal data reaching your audiences. However, it’s important to note that all emails should have an unsubscribe/opt-out link.

Type of Checkbox (opt in v opt out)

As outlined above, you don’t need a checkbox when collecting subscribers for your newsletter. However, it’s critical to tag this personal data correctly, so you know who wants to be messaged across each marketing channel.

Language

You do not need to include any specific language for your newsletter forms.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy is just as crucial in the US as the UK & Europe. Regardless of the data privacy regulations, consumers know their data is valuable, and you’re collecting it for a reason. If they’re engaging with your brand, they probably want to hear from you! But they also expect to be treated respectfully and want to know how you plan to use their data.

Part 3

Categorize your data for more effective marketing campaigns

By targeting the channels your customers want to be messaged on, you will ensure you comply with data privacy laws while winning the battle for customer engagement.

Collect more valuable customer data you can use compliantly

See how Dataships can help you collect compliant customer data you can use to supercharge your marketing campaigns.