Understanding consent in profiles

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Learn how to understand consent in profiles and best practices for email and SMS compliance.

Rules around customer consent vary between email and SMS. It is crucial to understand these differences to comply with international laws and maintain a positive relationship with your customers. 

Viewing a profile’s consent status

To see if a profile is consented or suppressed for email or SMS, navigate to their profile. 

On the right side, scroll down to the Channels section to view their consent status by channel. 

This area will contain the person’s email address (and may also include their phone number, if they’ve opted in to SMS). Next to each piece of contact information, you’ll see one of the following: 

  • A green checkmark
    This symbol indicates that the profile is consented for email.
    A profile that has consented to receive email marketing
    Note that some methods of subscribing (e.g., through a Klaviyo subscribe page) do not result in a green checkmark on a profile. 
  • A red X
    This symbol indicates that the profile is suppressed for email.
    A profile that is suppressed for email marketing
  • No symbol
    If there is no symbol next to a person’s contact information, it means they have neither consented nor opted out. These profiles can still receive emails (e.g., an abandoned cart flow email), but exercise caution when contacting them.
    A profile with no consent status

The Show suppression details section contains the reason the profile is suppressed. If the profile is suppressed for more than one reason (e.g., manually suppressed and also unsubscribed), only the highest-priority suppression reason will appear. Suppressions are prioritized as follows: 

  1. Deliverability (i.e., hard bounce or invalid email) 
  2. Unsubscribe (i.e., unsubscribed or marked as spam) 
  3. Manual (i.e., the profile was manually suppressed)

Profiles without a consent status

There are certain methods of adding a subscriber that will result in no consent status. For example, subscribers added through certain third-party integrations won’t have a green checkmark next to their email addresses under Channels

These profiles may have “implicit consent” depending on your local regulations, meaning you may be permitted to email these profiles. Make sure to use good list cleaning practices and consider each contact’s engagement when deciding whether to send to them.

Email

When someone subscribes to one of your lists (e.g., through a signup form) their consent status is marked as true in Klaviyo. This results in the creation of their profile in your account (if it does not already exist) and a green checkmark in the Channels section of this profile.

The channels section of a Klaviyo profile showing a profile subscribed to email

The green checkmark under Consent Status shows that this profile has subscribed to your lists, but does not necessarily mean that they consent to all marketing. Meanwhile, if a customer has unsubscribed, and is globally suppressed, a red X will appear here instead.

For more information on suppression and unsubscribes, head to Unsubscribes in Klaviyo.

There are multiple icons that can appear in this section of a profile that signify partial or lack of consent. For clarity on the different icons under Consent Status, please see the Channels section of our Guide to Profiles in Klaviyo.

GDPR

In some cases, international laws will affect email consent. A prime example of this is GDPR, which governs residents of the EU. For information on how to remain compliant and access appropriate consent for EU customers, please see our article on collecting GDPR compliant consent.

Best practices

It is best practice to have double opt-in enabled in your account. This means that, when a customer subscribes via a signup form or other subscription method, they will receive a confirmation email to verify that they want to subscribe. Double opt-in ensures that you maintain good deliverability and avoid spam traps that negatively affect your sender reputation.

Klaviyo also requires that you include an unsubscribe link in all of your emails. This is required by US law and ensures a seamless experience for your customers, improving email deliverability. It is always better that someone unsubscribes from your content rather than marks it as spam. You can customize your unsubscribe link as well to fit your business style and needs.

SMS

SMS consent is collected separately from email consent. If you have email consent for a profile, that does not mean that you can legally send that same contact text messages and vice versa.

In order to send an SMS message to a profile, you must collect their SMS consent. You can ask for SMS consent in a landing page on your site, prompt website visitors to subscribe in a signup form, or request it from email subscribers in a campaign. To learn more about how to gain SMS consent, head to our Guide to Collecting SMS Subscribers.

Once consent is granted from a profile, their phone number will appear under Channels along with another green checkmark denoting their consent status.

The channels section of a Klaviyo profile showing a profile subscribed to email and SMS

Best practices

Like email, there is a double opt-in process for SMS that is highly recommended. These messages confirm that the phone number of the recipient is legitimate, provide you a record of consent, and allow text message recipients to opt-out if they change their mind.

A recipient marking a text message as spam carries greater consequences than a recipient marking an email as spam. If you are reported as spam by recipients, you may be subject to hefty fines. SMS consent laws depend on the country. To comply with their laws, Klaviyo requires that you send certain keyword responses to customers. These keyword responses are free of charge and can be edited. Note that any optional keywords, such as custom subscribe keywords, are not free. 

List of SMS responses to keywords in Klaviyo

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