Is affirmative consent required to send order confirmation/status emails?

The title pretty much says it all. Right now, my checkout page has an opt-in checkbox for subscribing to my “newsletter list”. I think displaying 2 opt-ins at checkout isn’t the best UX.

I know that I cannot market (via email) to these customers UNLESS I get that consent… which is why I’ like to get that opt-in at checkout. But if I have to use that opportunity to collect consent just to mail them a confirmation… I don’t know what to do.

Does anyone have any knowledge on this topic they’d are to share? How do you all handle it?

I think an order confirmation email would be considered a necessary part of the ordering process and therefore not require consent.

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I am not sure if I fully understand your question.

Confirmation of purchase is not marketing. It is confirmation of purchase. You already have permission to send that particular e-mail.
What you don’t have is permission to take advantage of the e-mail address, given to you because he’s purchasing whatever product, and send your newsletter or send him advertisement.

If your customers decides that he wants to receive that newsletter, he will use the opt-in button you added at checkout.

And that means that he’s giving you explicit consent to receive that newsletter.

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@Gandalf & @molona - great, that’s what I thought. I received some misinformation that “technically” you can’t even send order confirmation/status emails without affirmative consent. I was highly skeptical but wanted to confirm.

Now here’s where maybe the line blurs: in my “Thank you for your order, we’ll contact you when it ships” email, can i add anything along the lines of…

“Here’s a coupon code - use it for your next order”


“Here are some other products you might like”

or even

“click here to sign up to receive promotional emails with discounts and all sorts of other great product stuff that will make you want to buy them all”


I think that’s more of a grey area and you would probably need to refer to the ICO website for details, but one thing to consider is you want to keep your email brief or it could irritate the customer if it is too long…

How many times have you shopped on-line and had to opt into getting an order confirmation?

While I am no legal expert and my comment here is my guidance based on work I have done in the field, I can confirm what @Gandalf and @molona have said. Confirmation emails are consider the “process of doing business” clause and don’t require consent. I have done a bit of work in this area and any communication related to doing business, carrying out a transaction (transactional email) and upkeep of one’s account are all covered here. Especially if the user is the one who triggered the action by making the order.

In fact, any related information to the transaction should also not be erased in a call for erasure because it is needed by a business to hold its legal responsibility of keeping accurate records. In other words the IRS/CRA or some other equivalent comes calling.

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