Legal writer at TermsFeed.
On this page
- 1. Why You Need Legal Policies for Promos, Discounts, and Offers
- 1.1. What is Personal Information?
- 1.2. What is Sensitive Personal Information?
- 2. Laws That Require Legal Policies
- 2.1. GDPR
- 2.2. CCPA/CPRA
- 2.3. Consumer Rights Directive
- 4. Terms and Conditions for Promos, Discounts, and Offers
- 5. Return and Refund Policy for Promos, Discounts, and Offers
- 6. Where to Display Legal Policies
- 6.1. Website Footer
- 6.2. Checkout Page
- 6.3. Account Login Page/Form
- 6.4. App Download Page
- 6.5. In-App Menu
- 7. How to Get Agreement to Your Legal Policies for Promos, Discounts and Offers
- 8. Summary
Offering promotions, discounts, and other special deals is an effective marketing tactic for attracting new clients to your business. Any time you collect individuals' personal information in exchange for a promotional offer you need to make sure that you are complying with applicable privacy laws, many of which require you to maintain certain legal policies on your websites and apps.
This article will explain why you need legal policies when offering promotions and discounts, the laws that require legal policies, what types of legal policies you need, where to display legal policies on your website and apps, and how to get agreement to your legal policies.
Why You Need Legal Policies for Promos, Discounts, and Offers
Any business that collects or handles individuals' personal information needs to make sure that it has appropriate legal policies in place in order to comply with relevant privacy and data protection laws.
Whenever a customer signs up for your promotional offer, whether through an account or newsletter sign-up form, a sales transaction, or in exchange for a lead magnet or other freebie, they will need to provide your business with their personal information such as an email address or payment information.
You should be aware of any privacy legislation that applies to your business or protects the rights of your customers and their personal information, and make sure that you maintain any required legal policies on your website and apps.
Even when not legally required, it's still a good idea to have legal policies in place as they can help to build the trust that is necessary to generate long-term customers.
Failure to comply with certain privacy laws can not only result in thousands of dollars worth of fines, but can also damage consumer trust in your brand.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is information that can be used to identify an individual. Personal information can include:
- Identification numbers, such as a driver's license or social security number
- Exact geolocation data
- Financial information, such as debit or credit card numbers or purchasing behavior
What is Sensitive Personal Information?
Sensitive or special personal information is a category of data that businesses need to treat with extra consideration. Sensitive personal information can include:
- Biometric data
- Genetic data
- Health information, such as medical records or disabilities
- Religious beliefs
- Sexual orientation
Laws That Require Legal Policies
Some of the main privacy laws that require legal policies are the European Union's (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU's Consumer Rights Directive, and California's Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).
Similar to the GDPR, the CCPA and the CPRA are laws that protect California consumers' personal information. The CPRA is the updated version of the CCPA, and both laws require businesses that meet their criteria to protect California consumers' personal information and inform users of their rights.
Consumer Rights Directive
The EU's Consumer Rights Directive requires businesses to allow consumers from the EU to return a product for a full refund within 14 days. If a business does not inform users about their right to withdraw from a sale, the consumers are automatically granted the right to return the item for a refund for up to one year from the date of purchase.
A Return and Refund Policy can help your business to comply with the Consumer Rights Directive.
Terms and Conditions for Promos, Discounts, and Offers
Your Terms and Conditions agreement can include a clause about any special terms concerning your business's offers or promotions.
Spotify's Terms and Conditions of Use agreement includes a Trials clause that contains a link to the specific terms that users must agree to in order to take advantage of its Paid Subscription Trials:
Clicking on the Offer Terms link takes users to Spotify's Premium Promotional Offer Terms document. This document describes the details of the offer, who is eligible for the offer, when the offer is available and how long it lasts, and how users can cancel the offer.
Return and Refund Policy for Promos, Discounts, and Offers
A Return and Refund Policy describes the steps users need to take in order to make a return or receive a refund, as well as the timeframe or circumstantial requirements they need to meet in order to be eligible for a return or refund.
Your Return and Refund Policy may function as a standalone document, or it may be placed within another legal policy, such as your Terms and Conditions agreement. It should include a clause that lets users know about any conditions concerning making returns or requesting refunds for items that are part of a promotional offer or deal.
Best Buy's Returns and Exchanges page informs users that if they make a purchase in which they receive a discounted or free item for buying certain items together, then they cannot keep that benefit unless they return all of the items together:
Barnes and Noble's Return and Refund Policy explains that "Buy X, Get Y Free" items must be returned together in order to be eligible for a refund, otherwise an item that is part of a "Buy X, Get Y Free" deal is only eligible for an exchange for an item of equal or lesser value:
Make your Return and Refund Policy easy to locate on your website so that people can find it and read it before completing a purchase, such as in your website footer, and again near the checkout process.
Where to Display Legal Policies
Once you have your legal policies written, you will need to make sure that you display them somewhere where people can easily find them. Common places to display legal policies include website footers, in-app menus, and checkout, account login, and app download pages.
A website footer is one of the most popular places for businesses to put links to their legal policies, as it provides a way for users to find a company's legal information no matter what page of its website they browse to.
Another good place to put links to your legal policies that outline information on promos, discounts and offers is on your checkout page. Putting links to your legal policies on your checkout page ensures that users get a chance to read and agree to your terms before making a purchase.
Amazon's checkout page includes links to its Privacy Notice and Conditions of Use, and lets users know that they must agree to its legal policies before placing an order:
Account Login Page/Form
Putting links to your legal policies on your account login pages or forms gives users the opportunity to read your policies before submitting their personal information, as well as each time they login.
App Download Page
Many businesses put links to their Privacy Policies within their app download page so that users can read the Policies before downloading any apps. This is also a requirement of app stores.
You can put links to your legal policies in your in-app menu so that users can access your legal information while using the app. These links can either open the policies within the app itself, or can take users to an out-of-app website where your legal documents are hosted.
Users of the Realtor.com app can find links to its legal policies by selecting the More tab on the bottom right-hand side of the screen and then scrolling down to the Other section:
There's one more important step after writing and displaying your legal policies, and it's getting users to agree to them. The next chapter will focus on this.
How to Get Agreement to Your Legal Policies for Promos, Discounts and Offers
Getting consent to your legal policies is an important part of complying with many privacy laws. One of the best ways to get users to agree to your legal policies is to use an "I Agree" checkbox that users must check before submitting their personal information or making a purchase.
You can use this check-to-agree method with every legal policy you post.
Maintaining legal policies on your business's website and apps is a simple way to help ensure compliance with privacy laws and build trust with your client base. Failure to comply with pertinent privacy laws can result in harsh financial penalties and can corrode consumer trust in the promos, discounts and offers you promote.
Some of the laws that require businesses to maintain legal policies on their websites and apps include the GDPR, the CCPA, the CPRA, and the Consumer Rights Directive.
The Consumer Rights Directive requires companies that do business with residents of the EU to have a Return and Refund Policy that includes a withdrawal period clause.
Your business should consider having the following legal policies in place:
- Terms and Conditions agreement
- Return and Refund Policy
Your Terms and Conditions agreement outlines the rules that users need to agree to in order to use your products or services. It should include a clause detailing any terms that are specific to promotions, deals, or subscription trials that your business offers.
Your Return and Refund Policy lets users know how and under what circumstances they can make a return or request a refund. It should let users know how returns and refunds work for discounted items and promotional offers and deals.
Common places to display your legal policies include in your website's footer, at checkout, at the account login or create-account form, and on app download pages and within your app itself.
An effective way to get users to consent to your legal policies is through the use of an "I Agree" checkbox that users must check before submitting their personal information or making a purchase.