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Do Landing Pages Need Privacy Policies?

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Many new digital entrepreneurs want to know about this topic: Do landing pages require privacy policies? You’ve seen information about privacy policies on other websites, but do you really need to post a privacy policy for your small business? The definitive answer is: maybe.

So, Do landing pages need privacy policies?  Yes, if your site falls under certain guidelines.  If your website isn’t just a hobby, you probably need to spell out a set of privacy policies for legal protection. Websites with landing pages for marketing purpose and sites that capture data from internet browsing and product ordering require privacy policies to spell out to website visitors what information they collect, whether they share it with another business or website and what they and/or others might do with the data.

Privacy Considerations

Landing pages are key points of entry to your website. Even if you do nothing with the website data, other companies do. Online customers don’t know you or your business, and they have the legal right to know how you will use any information or whether your plan to share the information, such as selling customer lists.

What to Include in Your Privacy Policy

Privacy policies should be included for any home page and landing page. If you’re not sure of the difference, a home page is the main page of your website. Landing pages can be any page in your product catalog, a special marketing offer or a page that provides further information about your products and services.

When placing ads or links to marketing and content landing pages, it’s important to provide the most relevant link to the information that consumers are seeking. Landing pages are alternative website entrances, and some customers can conclude their business on landing pages without ever navigating to your home page. That’s why you must post a Privacy Policy on each landing page.

Now that you know where you must include a privacy policy, it’s time to cover the details of what should be included. The major things that you need to include – in simple language – are the following points:

  • The kind of information that you collect
  • How you store customer information and keep it safe
  • Whether you share the information with other marketers and third-party associates
  • What rights customers have to delete information that your website collects

That’s the basic information that you need to supply in a privacy policy, but it’s not as simple as stating the information. That’s because your privacy policy must cover your business from a legal standpoint for possible violations of privacy laws. If you want to write an effective policy, it’s important to know the privacy laws so that you can write a policy that protects your company.

Privacy Regulations that You Need to Understand

If you’re just selling locally in your own neighborhood, it’s possible to write a simple privacy policy. However, most marketing companies now have access to customers from around the world. It’s important to protect yourself from laws in other jurisdictions, such as other states, Canada, the European Union and other countries where customers might buy your goods or use your services. Some of the privacy regulations include:

The California Online Privacy Protection Act

California has some of the strictest consumer protection laws, and the California Online Privacy Protection Act, CalOPPA, regulates how websites can collect, share and manage data that companies collect from their customers. The regulations go into effect on January 1, 2020, and they will have a major effect on many businesses.

The law simply transfers ownership of personal data to consumers to give them greater control of what companies can collect and use. Consumers can still cede the use of data to online companies, but existing privacy policies should be changed to reflect the changes.

Cookiebot, a new platform that manages consumer consent, scans your website to find all cookies and other tracking technologies. The information that the platform finds is shared with consumers, who can choose which data they’re willing to share with which companies. The technology will be used to comply with CCPA and the European GDPR regulations.

The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation, which is similar to the California initiative, protects consumers in the European Union.

PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

This set of regulations is similar to CCPA and GDPR, but the law is Canadian. The act requires that companies can only collect reasonable data that they need to process an order or secondary conversion. For example, companies wouldn’t need your physical address if you’re just signing up for an email newsletter.

You might need to write a separate cookie policy, or include the information in your privacy policy. These tough, new regulations cede control of cookies to consumers, and you must offer ways for visitors to disallow cookies, disable tracking and opt-out of email communications, newsletters and marketing messages.

How to Write a Privacy Policy

Writing a privacy policy can be challenging if you’re not familiar with internet regulations and loopholes that make it possible for disgruntled customers to sue you for mismanagement of their private information. Ideally, you should get an experienced attorney to draft your privacy policy, or ask your attorney to review one that you’ve subcontracted to a writer or written in-house.

There are also online companies that provide templates to generate a privacy policy, based on answers to key questions about your business. Most of these templates cover standard privacy policy issues, but you might need to customize your policy to deal with unusual circumstances.

Key Information to Include in Your Privacy Policy

You should strive to write your policy in clear language, without jargon and words that most people don’t understand. Keep your statements short and to the point. Your statements must state accurate information about what data you collect, how you use the information, whether you share it and with whom you share it. Key elements to consider include:

  • If you change how you use information, you must inform your customers and site users.
  • The best policy is to collect only the kind of information that can’t identify individual customers.
  • Explain why the information is collected – especially if it’s done to improve service.
  • The types of information that companies collect usually includes cookies, surveys, web forms, event registrations, ordering information, newsletter sign-ups and credit card information.
  • You must gain the user’s consent with a positive choice or a passive agreement to abide by your privacy policy to use your website.
  • You should inform customers how long it will take to inform them of changes to your policies.
  • If you use analytic tracking, you must inform customers and provide directions on how to disable tracking.
  • Explain how users will be informed of policy changes, such as emails.
  • Your policy should explain how to contact support if they have any questions.
  • A contact address and phone number should be supplied.
  • If you have alternative ways for customers to contact you and provide confidential information, you should explain these contact methods in your privacy policy.

It might not seem like a privacy invasion, but collecting names, addresses, email addresses, contact information, age, sex and other information can have serious repercussions if your website is hacked, such as identify theft, Social Security fraud and even direct access to credit card information.

Using Landing Pages Effectively and Legally

Landing pages are important in eCommerce applications because they can be used for so many different purposes. Landing pages can deliver customers to specialty pages that feature products, marketing offers and important content about your business and its products. Landing pages were designed to capture leads and move prospects closer to a sale. However, many customers don’t convert on their first site visit, and landing pages try to capture information to sell those customers at a later date.

Analytics tracking can supply a wealth of user information, but you need a clear and transparent privacy policy to explain your honorable intentions of using tracking technology and requesting information. Valid intentions include recommending other products that customers might like, refining customer shopping experiences and sending special notifications of sales and product incentives.

Some companies send their customers special greetings on their birthdays, and anniversaries or promote seasonal sales on the customer’s preferred products. Companies can send personalized marketing messages, which are based on the information that a company collects about each customer and his or her buying habits. Some customers prefer personalized, expedited service; others, however, place a greater value on personal privacy and anonymity.

Explaining your privacy policy is at the heart of transparent internet marketing, which is the best way to satisfy customers with great user experiences. The best policy is to write a clear privacy policy, limit your data collection to what the customer is willing to provide and satisfy customers who don’t want you to collect some or any information about them.

Do Landing Pages Need Privacy Policies in Every Case?

You don’t need a privacy policy in some cases, and you could survive without one until someone makes an issue of it or tries to sue you for a privacy violation. That’s why it’s a good idea to include one, even if you don’t think you need it. You can choose to run a simple disclaimer in lieu of a privacy policy or run a boilerplate document to cover your bases. However, writing an accurate policy that explains how your business operates and why it collects information can actually increase sales and customer satisfaction.