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Managing contact consent

Correctly store information on how you are permitted to contact supporters

Updated over a week ago

Contact consents are an essential part of managing your users data - especially given the large fines that can be charged for breaches of the GDPR. But how best to manage those contact preferences in Beacon?

Contact consent on the Person Record

The 'Contact consent' field stores the above options, but it's easy to add more as needed - you'll have to be an admin, and click into customisation mode in order to update it. Remember that the GDPR requires people to 'opt-in', and not to 'opt-out' - so remember that when setting your contact consent up.

You can also use contact consent in conjunction with the 'Interest' field on the Person record in order to get very specific information about what people would like to be contacted on. As per the 'Contact consent' field, the 'Interest' field is fully customisable, and should help you ensure that you're contacting people about things they've requested to hear more on.

Importing contact consent

When importing contact consents to Beacon, it's important to ensure that each person's preferences are clear on your spreadsheet - for example, ensure that different preferences (e.g. yes to email, no to phone etc.) are stored on separate cells to allow Beacon to identify them when you run the import.

Map these to 'Contact consent' in Beacon, and choose the matching options from the dropdown that will appear - then you should be fine to import them!

Filtering by contact consent

With contact consent pulled into Beacon, you may want to filter them when viewing your records, in order to see who has opted in, and who has not. To do this, go to your Person list, and go to the filter button on the right hand side of the screen. Once there, scroll down to 'Contact consent'. You can then choose to see people who have a specific contact preference, people who have chosen a range of the options you've made available, and, if you click 'Blank', people who have not-opted in to any contact at all.

You can then, if you're using the 'Interests' field, set a filter on this too - so you can see very specific groups of people. For example - all people who have opted into emails, and have an interest in receiving newsletters.

Collecting contact consent

Now you've imported historic contact consent into Beacon, you'll want to manage contact consent going forwards, and ask all new supporters of your company to clearly state their preferences. These are easy to store in Beacon, but people can often be confused about how they should be asking the right questions around consent.

To Opt-In or not to Opt-In?

That is the question... 2018's GDPR states that all consent to contact from a company, must be opt-in. Consent to be contacted must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous, and given by a clear affirmative action. As such, asking people to opt-out of predefined settings contradicts the GDPR.

Beacon contact consent is set up to be opt-in only, and we recommend leaving these as is - although you can of course add more options for people to opt-in to!

Collecting consent from Forms

Collecting contact consent from forms is nice and straightforward - and we guide you the process of how to set this up here.


If you are using Beacon's handy integration with Mailchimp (and if not, why not! Read about it here) you'll be glad to know that Beacon works well with Mailchimp to manage contact preferences. If one of your supporters subscribes or unsubscribes from your Mailchimp audience, Beacon will be notified and the user will have the 'Email' option of their contact consent updated accordingly in Beacon. This way we can ensure that you'll never send any communications to users who haven't opted in, ensuring that you never breach the GDPR.

We've got a handy Mailchimp interaction summary so you can see exactly what happens when different actions are taken.

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I don't have a Contact consent field, am I missing out?

Don't worry, you're not missing out!

You will have this same field, it's just that if you signed up to Beacon a while back then this field is named "Contact preferences". Feel free to rename this to fit with our current nomenclature.

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