Email marketing consent form

Email marketing consent form is a sign-up form where people can consent to receive marketing emails.

What is email marketing consent form?

An email marketing consent form can visually look very different from business to business, but all email marketing forms serve the same purpose. These forms are designed to collect consent from customers. As described in GDPR, such consent should be explicit consent, meaning it is a freely given, specific, informed, unambiguous, affirmative agreement.

Marketing email forms can be found as pop-ups or placed in various parts of a website.

What must a compliant email marketing consent form include?

One-purpose forms

Email marketing forms can be elementary, especially when they are designed to collect consent for one purpose. An opt-in sign-up form with only one goal can be simple and contain a field for an email address, the disclosure, and a submit/subscribe button, and the link to the privacy policy. Because the form serves a single purpose check box is not necessary. Generally speaking, the simpler the consent form, the better the conversions. If customers can avoid long lists of checkboxes, we assure you they will. Looking at the first example below, we can definitely say that the sign-up form is simple. However, it is too simple, from this sign-up it is not obvious what kind of email will you be receiving after your sign-up, nor are you informed about if and how you can opt-out. And the link to the privacy policy is missing.

email marketing consent form

The second example, from the Guardian, is much better. The purpose of sign-up is clearly stated, which is an essential part of email marketing consent forms. However, the link to the Privacy Policy is not directly in the sign-up form, nor is the option of opting-out mentioned.

one purpose form

Another mistake companies make with these types of email marketing consent forms is writing an unclear, confusing, or too complex disclosure. If the consent is to be valid, it must be given freely and with the full understanding of its consequence. Stating your subscribers will “receive special offers” might not be enough. From this disclosure, it is unclear whether offers are received via email, post, or SMS, how often, and their purpose, while it is not a legal requirement, the more clear and transparent your disclosure is the better the sign-up form.


Below you can see an example of an email marketing consent form from H&M. This form is very clear and understandable; it takes into account age restriction and links to the Privacy Policy.

consent form newsletter form

A link to the privacy policy is yet another often disregarded addition to the disclosure. A great email marketing consent form will include a link to the privacy form. The same rule applies to inform subscribers about their opt-out options.

Lead magnets forms

A lead magnet is a sign-up form that offers a benefit in exchange for a lead. A lead, in the case of email marketing, is an email address. An example of a lead magnet is a discount offer for a newsletter sign-up, as can be seen in the examples below.

lead magnet form email consent

It is great to use lead magnet consent forms. However, they can often be misleading. Detailed information about further use is always necessary, and if this information is not available, you don’t have a legal basis for sending newsletters or marketing materials to the subscribers.

email consent form

A checkbox is not necessary if the information provided in the disclosure message is clear and unambiguous. However, the unsubscribe option and its consequences must be stated clearly.

Forms with two or more purposes

For email marketing consent forms that serve more purposes, checkboxes are needed. The customer must be able to agree to one purpose and not the other. For example, if you, as a business, wish to use customer email to send marketing emails and provide their email to a third party, customers must be able to choose to consent to one and not the other.

No matter which email marketing consent form you use, too complex and confusing messages are also not compliant. The information in the disclosure message must be clear, truthful, and understandable.