Sweepstakes Email Opt-in Best Practices
The primary purpose of many sweepstakes is to build a brand’s mailing list; having a valid email opt-in on the sweepstakes registration page is imperative to the success of the promotion. If you fail to use best practices when setting up your opt-in, then your ability to email users for the purposes you had in mind may be at risk. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when crafting an email opt-in for your next sweepstakes or contest.
1. Provide full disclosure.
Providing clear disclosure of everything you will be using a consumer’s email address, or phone number, and/or address for will help consumers understand why they are being added to various email lists and mailing lists. Without this full disclosure, those email addresses you collected for one product may work to send emails to users of that product, but the phone numbers you collected may not be used to send texts because you failed to ask for opt-in to use those. Or you may not legally be able to send out emails to that list for another of your products because you didn’t mention that the opt-in included those. Furthermore, there are fines that can be incurred from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) or CAN-SPAM Act if any of your texts or emails go out to anyone that didn’t opt-in to that particular list.
2. Make the opt-in active, not passive.
Recent legislation in the EU (the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR) requires that any email or mobile opt-in must be made by the consumer or user physically ticking the box to opt-in; the box cannot be pre-checked by default. This is all relatively new, and there is another evolving set of laws in California, the California Consumer Protection Act, or CCPA, which may also require an active opt-in, especially as it pertains to sharing or sale of email data. Also, the GDPR extends to any citizen of the EU that is travelling or living temporarily in the US, so now is the time to start thinking about making your opt-in active before it becomes an issue for your company. Not to mention that the GDPR and CCPA fines will be hefty, and not worth it.
3. Don’t hide the opt-in.
Many brands are setting up their email opt-in so there is no opt-in box on the entry form, but they are actually being added (usually unwittingly) to the email list. If the consumer would look at the rules more closely, they would see verbiage that by entering the sweepstakes they are providing consent just by entering. There are even sweepstakes companies that bundle promotions and prizes so one form with no email opt-in lands the consumer on 5-10 email lists without even knowing it. You have to decide if your brand is willing to take the risk of upsetting potential customers by making them feel duped into being added to email lists they didn’t want to be on – plus with the GDPR, CCPA and the TCPA (if mobile numbers are part of the entry process), these practices will not be considered legal and you run the risk of legal action being taken against your company.
If you want to build a better email list, follow best practices. And contact us to help you build a better sweepstakes form that is legally compliant and a sound business choice to help you meet your marketing objectives.
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