The Complexity of Consent Charity Guide
Test Your Control

Traditionally, marketers have not spent time developing consent or permission statements to encourage people to receive marketing communications.

By including your existing ‘control’ statement as part of your testing, you create a bridge between the real world and the research, enabling you to understand how new statements being tested may perform in a live test.

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Granular Consent

The ICO’s guidance reiterates that the GDPR ‘Requires granular consent for distinct processing operations’, so ‘wherever possible, give granular options to consent separately to different purposes and different types of processing.’

Meaning, different aspects of your brand’s communications need to be presented in an appealing and interesting way, which will optimise consent for very different tasks.

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Profiling

Several charities were fined by the ICO for using data in a way that goes beyond a donor’s reasonable expectations, specifically regarding wealth screening.

ICO guidance states, ‘Explicit consent can legitimise automated decision-making, including profiling.’ Many brands are looking at separate consent for profiling activities so that individuals are informed and given the right opportunities to agree or object.

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Inclusion of Hyperlinks

The ICO states that, ‘People are increasingly willing to share information… and they are also unwilling to read lengthy privacy notices.’ However, evidence suggests, ‘People do have concerns about how organisations handle their data.’

Organisations need to be transparent about data processing, providing the necessary privacy information and compliance, giving an opportunity for companies to build trust with consumers.

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Structure of Statement

The structure of a Consent/Permission statement can have a dramatic impact upon the quantity and quality of consent collected.

The ICO’s latest guidance reiterates that GDPR does not require an ‘opt-in’ for direct marketing. Many organisations are however selecting ‘opt-in’ for all channels which has significant commercial implications. A ‘one size fits all’ approach for any sector is not appropriate.

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Wording

Language and wording are essential to a marketer. What you say, and how you say it, is essential in motivating people to act.

A key element of the ICO’s guidance on writing statements says that the request for consent needs to be clear, concise and using plain language.

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Presentation, Design, Layout

While ICO guidance regularly speaks about the importance of clarity, this is not necessarily restricted to just the language and wording used.

While marketers will pay close attention to every word, the consumer will often skim read statements before making a decision. Presentation, design and layout elements can help aid them and encourage them to provide consent.

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Profile Specific Statements

If you now believe consent to be a marketing challenge and not just a legal obligation, it follows that you would not market to all people in the same way.

Therefore, to optimise consent levels, organisations can use multiple consent statements across different channels, products and areas to ensure people feel connected to the brand.

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Confusion

People responding to consent statements are often confused. Our research has categorised this confusion into three categories:

  • ‘Good’ consent- gave consent and intended to
  • ‘Bad’ consent- gave consent, but did not intend to
  • ‘Missed’ consent- intended to give consent, but did not

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Confirmation

The ICO outlines that, ‘You may not rely on silence, inactivity, default settings, pre-ticked boxes or your general terms and conditions, or seek to take advantage of inertia, inattention or default bias in any other way.’

Inertia and inattention are aspects that many brands are now addressing, particularly regarding the priority of database marketing as an issue of ‘quality over quantity’.

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fast.MAP has put this guide together to set out main areas of testing brands have focused on when optimising consent and permission statements.

Each area can have a considerable impact on both the volume of consent collected and the degree to which respondents understand what they are consenting to.

Download your copy of the guide to get ideas for your strategic approach.

We respectfully ask that you do not circulate any electronic copies of the report which are protected under copyright and cost £50 each. However, you may share your code to enable others to download the report.

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