Add checkboxes to collect GDPR consent via opt-in forms

Add checkboxes to collect GDPR consent via opt-in forms
Nina De la Cruz
Nina De la Cruz 4 min read
💥 Join 5K subscribers

If you want to make your website GDPR-compliant, one of the first steps is making sure you obtain explicit consent of a visitor before you collect and process their personal data. The easiest solution here is adding a checkbox to any form you use to collect personal information – thus making the form GDPR-compliant.

In the post below, we’ll show you how to create a GDPR consent form with Getsitecontrol and make your email capturing popups GDPR-friendly.

Getsitecontrol allows you to add a custom consent message box just like the one illustrated above. When you make that checkbox required, your website visitors will only be able to submit their details after they have confirmed they agree to your processing of their data.

If you’ve got familiar with the theory of GDPR, you already know that it focuses on personal data: the way it’s collected, the way it’s stored, and the way it’s processed. Any data that allows for identifying a person directly or indirectly is considered personal, including IP addresses, names, or emails.

Thus, the rule applies to each case when your visitors submit their details through your website — whether it’s an email subscription form, a contact form, or an online survey.

Naturally, the materials below are for informational purposes only, and we won’t be able to provide any legal advice.

What we definitely can do is to provide you with a guide on creating a mighty good-looking email form with a mandatory checkbox, because this is what Getsitecontrol is great for. Everything else is on you.

Although, of course, we assume you know that adding a consent checkbox to an opt-in form doesn’t make your website GDPR-compliant automatically. It’s just a step towards compliance under the new law, and there are a few other requirements you’ll need to meet.

Let’s take a closer look at the example of an opt-in form asking for subscribers’ consent. Right below the “Email” field, there is a brief custom consent message with a box that must be checked by a user to complete the subscription.

Keep this example in mind because it contains every element an effective and a GDPR-friendly opt-in form should have:

  • Enticing copy and a call-to-action
  • An eye-catching creative
  • Name and the email address fields
  • Consent message with a mandatory checkbox

The question you might still have in mind is whether there is a strict requirement about what to include in the consent message.

Just like with cookie consent banners, it’s essential to specify how exactly user data is going to be used and to require explicit consent from a user to such use. And if you sift through various websites, you’ll see dozens of consent copy variations. Below we’ll show you a couple more typical examples.

This is an example of a GDPR-compliant opt-in form with a lead magnet. While offering site visitors to download a book for free, this widget also contains a detailed explanation of what else one should expect to receive in their inbox after filling out the form.

You can put a consent checkbox on your widget even if you’re using a compact top or bottom bar for your opt-in form. Consider the example below:

This unobtrusive widget takes very little screen space, yet remains visible to the site visitors and contains a checkbox so that they could express their consent to receiving promotional emails explicitly.

In all the cases described above, the checkbox is mandatory, so the absence of consent will mean the inability to subscribe.

As you remember, according to the GDPR requirements, users must be able to provide their consent voluntarily.

So, if the copy on your opt-in popup clearly invites people to become a part of an email list by providing an email address, a checkbox might be excessive because it would simply repeat the statement.

Consider this example of a subscription slide-in without a checkbox:

This form doesn’t have a checkbox on it, but the text below the “Email” field explains in detail that the visitor provides the consent to use their data by submitting their email address. It also explains how this data will be processed and provides a link to the company’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service so that the visitor could read them.

Now that we’ve shown you some examples for inspiration, let’s find out how to create a similar form for your website:

  1. Log in to your Getsitecontrol account.

  2. Click +Create widget and choose the solution you’re looking for: an email subscription form, a contact form, or a survey with an email capture field.

  3. Choose a webpage position for your form: a classic modal popup, a fullscreen, a slide-in, a bar, or a panel. Then select one of the available widget templates and click Continue →.

Choosing the webpage position and the template for the widget in the Getsitecontrol admin dashboard

  1. On the Content tab, check the copy and call to action.

  2. Next, click +Add field and select Consent checkbox. This will add a checkbox right above the CTA button. Type the consent message and make the box required.

  3. On the same tab, you can add the text in the footer of your widget, using the Note field. It’s right on top of the Text section.

  4. If you’d like to change the look of the widget, you can do it on the Appearance tab: change the colors for the widget and, if necessary, its size and paddings. You can also choose a different image from the gallery or upload your own one.

Once you’re done, just save and activate the widget – it will instantly go live on a website. Don’t forget to connect the form to your email marketing software to start building the list right away.

Tips for your marketing strategy