How to enable a privacy policy alert if you are doing business in Europe

Last updated: November 22, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A
If you do business in Europe and need to comply with EU cookie laws, it's a good idea to configure a privacy policy alert for your site. This will allow visitors to opt in or out of being tracked in your HubSpot account. This feature works for all HubSpot pages as well as any external pages you may have that are using the HubSpot tracking code.

Do I need to adjust my privacy policy?

If your business has a presence in Europe, then you'll need to adjust your privacy policy to comply with their laws. The European Union (EU) has mandated that member countries create laws that require websites to gain consent from end users prior to storing data on a website visitor’s computer. These regulations are designed to help your website visitors protect their privacy and determine how their behaviors online are used by others. While you could implement a custom solution to comply with EU regulations, HubSpot gives you the ability to easily set this privacy policy, display it to your visitors, and prompt them to consent to allowing cookies.

How does HubSpot track website visitor activity?

HubSpot’s software uses cookies to track your website visitors and contacts. A cookie is a small text file that is left behind on a visitor's computer when they come to your site. When the HubSpot software runs on your website, it leaves behind a cookie on your visitors’ computers that helps HubSpot identify them on future visits.

Navigate to reports settings

In your HubSpot Marketing BasicProfessional or Enterprise account, navigate to Reports > Reports Settings.

Choose your privacy policy type

Scroll down to the Privacy Policy section. Here, you have four privacy policy options:

  • Do not notify visitors that your site uses cookies - Choose this option if your company does not have a presence in Europe. This option will let you collect visit history on your website visitors without asking the user for explicit permission. Please note that if the visitor is using a web browser that has cookies disabled, or if they are using a do not track feature on their browser, HubSpot will not be able to collect visit history for them.
  • Notify visitors that your site uses cookies - Choose this option if your company has a presence in Europe and you need to abide by the EU cookie laws. This option will display a banner on your website the first time someone visits your site. 
  • Notify visitors that your site uses cookies and allow opt-outChoose this option if your company has a presence in Europe and you need to abide by the EU cookie laws. This option will display a banner on your website the first time someone visits your site. It will prompt the visitor to consent to the placement of cookies on their computer. Once they consent, you will be able to gather visit history on that visitor.
  • Do not use cookies at all - Choose this option if you do not want to collect any visit information from your visitors and also abide by the EU cookie laws. Choosing this option will make the analytics and lead tracking portions of HubSpot unusable and is not recommended in most cases.
If your company does not have a presence in Europe, you can select Do not notify visitors that your site uses cookies and skip the rest of this article.

Customize your privacy policy messaging

If you selected Notify visitors that your site uses cookies or Notify visitors that your site uses cookies and allow opt-out, you now need to customize your privacy policy messaging. We suggest using language that explains the benefits to the visitor if they opt into being tracked.

For example, when a visitor is tracked, Professional and Enterprise customers can personalize this visitor's experience using smart CTAs to give visitors special offers based on the history of their interactions with your company and progressive profiling to keep the forms served up to this visitor short and easy to complete, so they can access your content more easily.

For your convenience, we've included some suggested text to get you started with creating your privacy policy alert. You may want to check with your lawyer or legal team to finalize the messaging you use here.

  • Privacy policy banner text - This is the message that explains to the visitor the purpose of the consent request.
  • Privacy policy accept button text - This is the message that accompanies the consent button.
  • Privacy policy decline button text - This is the text used to accompany the dismissal button. (This option will only appear if you select Notify visitors that your site uses cookies and allow opt-out)
  • Privacy policy disclaimer text - This text can be used to notify the visitor that even though they did not yet consent to or reject the use of cookies for tracking purposes, the website will still be using a cookie to remember the choice they make so that they are not continually prompted for consent throughout their session.

Test the privacy policy alert

To preview what your specific banner will look like on your external website, install the HubSpot tracking code on your external web pages and set the privacy mode to Test Mode.

After you've made all your option changes, click the Save button at the bottom of the page to implement your changes for testing.

Once your options are saved, you can preview it by visiting a page that has your HubSpot tracking code installed and appending the URL with the query parameter ?_hsPrivacyTest. For example, if the URL of the page is http://example.com, you would visit http://example.com?_hsPrivacyTest to view the privacy policy.

This is an example of what this banner will look like:

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Turn on Production Mode

Once you're ready to publish your message, change the option to Production Mode and Save your changes again.

HubSpot Help article screenshot

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