GDPR is less than two months away, and digital advertisers must ask themselves not only how they can be GDPR-compliant, but how they can continue to provide an excellent digital experience to their customers.

One of the key goals to use consent in order to become GDPR-compliant is to be transparent with customers about how their data and personal information will be collected and used. This strategy raises a critical question: how can you be effective gaining customer consent? The language you use in your consent agreement can have a huge impact on whether or not the customer agrees to allowing you to use their personal information and data, but knowing what the most effective approach is can be the difference between a trial-and-error or testing effort that takes time, or having the right language and strategy ready to go on May 25, 2018.

Defining the GDPR Impact on Digital Advertising: Download the whitepaper now!

At Rakuten Marketing, we conducted a survey of EU citizens to identify what type of language had the highest acceptance rates. Those surveyed chose from one of four options, with the option to also select “learn more” before accepting or rejecting the consent request. These options were:

 Version Language for Consent
Version 1 {{ advertiser }} places cookies on your web browser for several purposes, including third-party marketing and advertising, with your permission which you may withdraw at any time.
Version 2 {{ advertiser }} and third parties use personal data, with your permission, for online advertising purposes including to: show you advertisements tailored to your interests, evaluate ad effectiveness, understand patterns of people who view ads.
Version 3 {{ advertiser }} asks you to accept cookies for several purposes including customized advertising. To get more information about cookies and to change your preferences, press the “more information” button. To get more information about customized advertising, processing your personal data and your rights regarding your personal data, please go to Rakuten Marketing, one of our 3rd party marketing companies. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data?
Version 4 This website, and its affiliates, asks permission to use your personal data for online advertising purposes. You may withdraw your consent at any time. If you reside in the European Union you may review your other rights here.

Customers could also choose “learn more” from any of these four options. Each option had it’s own “learn more” which you can see in Appendix A by clicking here.

Participants were recorded based on if they they consented or declined, or if they first chose to learn more. Of these options, version 3 had the highest acceptance rate both overall and without reviewing “learn more” first, and the lowest “learn more” selection. (Click below to see the full-size chart.)

Looking at the language in version 3, some reasons for why this was so effective begins to reveal itself.

  • The language is very user friendly – most customers are able to look at version 3 and understand exactly what they’re being asked for and why they’re being asked in an authentic, “human-sounding” way.
  • There are just enough details without being overly wordy. If we look at the other versions they’re either too vague – requiring at minimum three times the amount of “learn more” clicks before deciding – or too wordy and confusing (in the case of version 4).
  • Version 3 is the only one that concludes with a question. This may not seem like much, but it offers the customer the power to choose whether or not their data is used in an authentic way.

When we compare this to version 4, the lowest-performing version, we can see clear errors: the message is too wordy with unclear language and confusing statements that may not bear relevance to the user, but they couldn’t know for certain because of how unclear it is. Additionally, if we compare this to versions 1 and 2, we see the opposite: the messaging is short to the point where customers aren’t clear what they’re fully consenting to.

Rakuten Marketing is continuing to monitor and understand the impact that GPDR will have on all affected parties – advertisers, publishers, and customers – and finding the best strategies and tactics to help marketers be compliant and effective in their marketing strategies.

To learn more about GDPR, you can read the first GDPR whitepaper by Rakuten Marketing, Defining the GDPR Impact on Digital Advertising. The whitepaper is free and available online and to download in PDF format. You can access the whitepaper today.

Appendix A: Learn More

Learn More Language
 Third parties use data about your actions on this website and across the internet for targeted advertising purposes, for analytics purposes and to create behavioral models. For more information about Rakuten Marketing, one of our third parties, click
The personal data we and our affiliates use for advertising and statistical analysis includes: IP address, unique device identifiers, region of device location, geographic and demographic information.
Third parties use data about your actions on this website and across the internet for targeted advertising purposes, for analytics purposes and to create behavioral models. For more information about Rakuten Marketing, one of our third parties, click
Affiliates/Rakuten Marketing: Rakuten Marketing LLC, a Delaware limited liability corporation headquartered at 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003 and our corporate affiliates Rakuten Marketing Europe Limited, Rakuten Marketing Brazil Limitada, Rakuten Marketing Australia Pty Ltd. Personal Data includes: Internet Protocol (IP) Address; Unique Device Identifiers; Hardware/OS Device Identifiers; Geographic and Demographic information (When available)Region of device location; Network connection (WiFi or wired)Longitude & Latitude of Mobile device; Software Development Kit Data; Geo-IP; Online Advertising: Online advertising includes analysis of certain online activity for: Showing ads tailored to your interests; Statistical assessment Evaluating ad effectiveness; Understanding patterns of people who view ads; Evaluating the probability and nature of connections between devices; Creating ad models based on known other similar behaviors; Behavior Analyzed: Date & time you access an ad; Pages visited on the website; Click throughs on ads, pixels, beacons; Coupon redemptions; Registrations; Downloads; Website visited prior; Website visited after; Rakuten Marketing processes your personal data for 121 days after your last interaction with our advertisers; Your Rights: Withdraw consent for use of your personal data; Access, correct, erase and port your personal data; Lodge a complaint about Rakuten Marketing’s processing with your local supervisory authority.