1. Hi Mariam,

    That made it so much clearer, thanks. One thing I’m still confused on, though. Where you say “You’re asking them to join your newsletter, which is already the consent part straight away. Once they sign up, that means they consented” they consented to a newsletter, right? So you can’t send them anything that is not a newsletter. So if you find a neat niche-related product or something, then you can’t send a short email blast out telling them about that. Is that correct?
    Is there a better way to word that besides “newsletter” so you can send them other email info?

  2. This is such a helpful post for bloggers. I’ve heard you talk about this on a podcast but it’s great to read it again. I think this is a very confusing area and most ESPs do not make it easy to follow the rules. I think online privacy will only continue to increase, so following the rules from the start is good practice. Thank you for such an informative post.

  3. Hi Mariam! Thank you for this great post.

    In Convertkit, you can subscribe someone to a list by having them tap a link within an email. If someone signs up for a freebie and they receive the freebie in an email, can I offer them the opportunity to tap to sign up for my email list? Would that qualify as consent?

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Mariam,

    I’d like to thank you for this blog post. Finally I’ve found everything explained as I needed to!

    One question: can I have only a sign up form for the newsletter on my website and make all my freebies subscribers only? It would be a different approach: freebies are like a kind of a bonus to the subscription. It’d be all or nothing: with the newsletter subscription you have also access to all freebies and content upgrades. I wouldn‘t have any explicit sing up forms for a freebie.

    Thanks for your answer!


    1. Hi Mario,

      I am glad you found the post helpful. Thank you for your letting me know. As to your question, honestly, it’s a very gray area. I know some people who do this, but I strongly believe that this tactic is not GDPR compliant. However, seeing as how there is no case law at the moment telling us specifically this is not permitted, you might be ok. However, this is a judgment call on your part. So use this method cautiously. One way that might make it more compliant is if you say you regularly send your list free resources and bonuses along with great tips and strategies (but don’t say specifically what the freebies are or when they’ll get it).

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for your answer. It clears the whole thing up.

        I’ve got another question: can I consider an email sequence of 6 mails delivered weekly which explains the topics I’ve got in a cheat sheet as a follow up to the freebie?


        1. Hi Mario,

          no, generally that’s not allowed. The only email you can send out is just one follow up immediately after the person signs up to deliver the lead magnet. The only time it’ll be ok to email them for that many times is if the person signed up for a freebie like that, let’s say 6 weeks of free email course delivered via emails by six emails.

  5. Hi! Great detail article, thank you!
    Can you please clarify this for me: “This is not GDPR compliant because you’re forcing them to click confirm to get the freebie. To comply with GDPR as a blogger, you have to provide free access to the freebie whether or not they want to be on your list.
    You can’t make your readers to consent in order to get the freebie.”
    Can I not make it mandatory to tick a box to sign up to marketing emails to be able to get a freebie? They are able to opt out and have taken positive action to opt in. I haven’t seen this being pointed out in this way anywhere else before.

    1. Hi Maria, I am glad you found this post helpful!
      Yes, a closer reading of GDPR explains that free resources (freebies) must be given to the person who wants them, and you can’t make them agree to be on your list before doing so.

      A checkbox will be compliant with GDPR only if it’s optional. That’s why I said most checkboxes aren’t compliant because if someone wants your freebie, but doesn’t want to receive marketing emails, they won’t be able to move forward to get the freebie unless they mark the checkbox. This consent is no longer a valid consent, because they are forced to give it in order to get the freebie. A better approach is to give them the freebie, but have a link in your email for them to click it if they want to stay on your email list. That way you deliver the freebie, and ask for valid consent. If they don’t click the link to be on your email list, you should either delete them from your system, or put on “no marketing emails” list.

  6. Thank you for covering GDPR in a way that is so easy to understand, and with concrete steps on how to actually be compliant beyond putting a privacy policy in place. It’s still an intimidating topic for me, but it’s no longer paralyzing now that I understand it better

  7. This is really useful information, especially for bloggers starting out, sometimes the legal stuff is really easy to miss, and quite terrible to do so. Thank you Mariam!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *