Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas7 min readNew Features & UpdatesMay 10, 2018

New MailerLite GDPR Features (Part 2 of 3): Opt-in Forms

New MailerLite GDPR Features (Part 2 of 3): Opt-in Forms

GDPR is forcing all of us to make sure we have the proper consent from our current subscribers. But what about future subscribers?

The new regulations talk a lot about subscriber opt-in, specifically making sure that you clearly explain your intentions (explicit consent) and that you empower users to actively give their consent (active consent).

Our new embedded form feature now includes the tools you need to comply with these GDPR requirements. We also updated the feature with new design options that will help you create more engaging opt-in forms.

Instead of just adding a few GDPR options to our forms, we took this opportunity to completely upgrade our feature!


How opt-in forms must change under GDPR

Before we dive into our new embedded form features, let’s first review the GDPR requirements that you’ll need to keep in mind when building your opt-in forms.

Explicit consent

This can be a frustrating rule because the word ‘explicit’ is a subjective term. What is clear to one person might be confusing to another. At the end of the day, you need to be honest and simply explain what you want to do with the user’s information. Keep it short, but descriptive. We include pre-written text in our templates to get you started.

Active consent

Despite what you might have heard, checkboxes are not mandatory for active consent. It simply means that the user must freely give consent, so pre-checked boxes are no longer allowed. If you are asking someone to give consent to one thing, use a few sentences instead of checkboxes.

Bundled actions

Checkboxes are required when you are offering more than one thing. For example, if you ask the user to receive your newsletter and also use their data for targeted advertising, you need two clear options for consent. In this case, checkboxes should be used.

Our forms now include checkbox options for bundled consent and pre-written text that you can use or edit to explicitly communicate how and why you are using the information. Let’s take a look!


Our embedded forms are new, improved and GDPR friendly

Throughout the year, we received some great customer feedback on how to improve our embedded forms. We decided to use this GDPR update as an opportunity to address those customer needs with a revamped form builder.

Our embedded form editor now has the same design options and functionality as our Landing Page and Popup builders. We also added new GDPR-compliant options within the form settings.

MailerLite Embed Forms - GDPR friendly subscribe forms

Form types & design

Our form types now allow you to create a horizontal layout for your form as well as a new form called CARD, which lets you add an image in the form. Many users requested this feature, and we think it will help you create more engaging opt-in forms that will improve conversions.

You also have more options now to customize your forms with a design toolkit that includes background & button designs, custom input fields and a variety of font options.

MailerLite Embed Forms

Form settings

We wanted to make GDPR compliance a little bit easier for you by including new settings that auto-populate your web forms with the necessary consent fields.

You can now add multiple checkboxes, segment subscribers with hidden fields, insert GDPR permissions and send users to your own success page.

All of these options are customizable so you can edit the design or text to fit your specific needs. Let’s take a closer look at each option within Form Settings:

Confirmation Checkboxes

While checkboxes are not mandatory for GDPR, you will need them if you are asking for subscriber consent of multiple items or if you need acknowledgement of your Terms. If you include a checkbox for your Terms or Privacy Policies, you can now add a hyperlink so the user can review them on your site.

MailerLite Embed Forms - Confirmation Checkbox

Hidden Segmentation Fields

You can segment your new subscribers based on where they opted-in. For example, you can create one group that came from your blog and another from Facebook. This allows you to engage them in different ways, and it also helps you identify their source of consent.

MailerLite Embed Forms - Hidden Segmentation Field

GDPR/Marketing Permissions

This is our pre-built form that provides the consent information for GDPR. It is important to note that this is a generic template that you can edit and customize to fit your own needs.

MailerLite Embed Forms - GDPR/Marketing Permissions

Custom Success Page

Instead of using a standard confirmation page after someone subscribes, you can send them to your own URL. This gives you the flexibility to continue your engagement with your new subscribers.

MailerLite Embed Forms - Custom Success Page

* Important Notice: Your existing forms will not be affected by these upgrades. The new design and GDPR features are not available when editing the old forms. If you want to use these new capabilities, you will need to create new forms.


GDPR updates to your popup and landing page features

Our current popup and landing page features already include the form editor and design options that we now offer in embedded forms, but we updated them with the GDPR-ready form settings.

This way, if you want to use popups or landing pages for your opt-in forms, you can easily access the GDPR-friendly options like checkboxes and pre-written text permissions.

Regardless of which forms you prefer to use for opt-in, all of MailerLite’s forms are ready for GDPR.

* Important Notice: Your existing popups and landing pages will not be affected by these GDPR upgrades. The new GDPR options are not available when editing the old popups or landing pages.


What happens when a subscriber submits their consent?

As we discussed in our previous GDPR blog, it is critical that you keep a record of your subscriber’s consent. The burden of proof is on you to prove that a subscriber agreed.

All of the information from our embeddable forms, popups and landing pages is automatically updated in the subscriber’s profile within MailerLite. If a subscriber checks one of three boxes on your form, our system will only show you the permissions that they actively agreed to.

MailerLite - Subscriber profile

More GDPR updates coming next week

Next week, we will post another GDPR update focusing on a Data Processing Agreement that you can sign and download.

The GDPR deadline is a few weeks away. We want you to have the tools and knowledge to make it an easy transition. If you have not seen our previous GDPR announcements, we included them below for your convenience.

New MailerLite GDPR Features: Covers our new solutions that address right to be forgotten, proof of subscriber consent, and identifying EU users.

GDPR and How Compliance Can Improve Your Email Marketing: Gives an overview of GDPR and highlights our revalidation template.