Manual opt-in with GDPR turned off


Rookie question everyone.  With GDPR turned off, is there a way for me to manually opt-in a contact to an e-newsletter (for example)? I'm looking at this page and it's not clear to me. In partcular, I'm wondering if the magic word "not" is missing from the middle of this sentence at the bottom of the page: "If you disabled your GDPR functionality, you will be able to send marketing emails to a contact without explicit opt-in from them."

5 Replies 5
HubSpot Employee

Hey @djowhite !


So with GDPR turned off, and the option within GDPR in your account settings for: Only allow marketing emails to be sent to contacts who have a legal basis to communicate. This setting doesn’t apply to emails sent by the CRM. not checked, we are able to e-mail contacts that have the subscription of the email you are trying to send allocated to them.


So If you wish to email contacts a newsletter for example you can use the article that you linked here,  to add the correct subscription types to contacts, and then that e-mail to them without having received an opt-in from the contact themselves.


GDPR requires us to have proof of opt-in in the form of legitimate interest for a suscription type for contacts to receive e-mails from that subscription type 🙂


I'm sorry, I'm a HubSpot noob and I don't understand the reply. Or it's not working the way I'm expecting. Here's what I'm doing (following this link😞

  1. I search "Contacts" to find the person I want to subscribe
  2. I check the box to the left of their name
  3. I select "Edit communication subscriptions" from the "More" drop down list
  4. Under "Communication subscription type", I check the box next to the specific subscription I want
  5. I click on "Subscribed" in the radio group
  6. I type something in the box for "Explanation for communication consent"
  7. I click on Save

Then I get the message about how it may take a few minutes to update the subscription preferences.

But, when I go back and check the contact properties for the contact later, it still shows that they are "Opted out of email: ...." for the subscription that I just changed above. So, unless I misunderstand the process here, that subscription change isn't being made. Is that because I have GDPR turned off, because I don't understand the process, or something else....?

Participant | Partner

I'm also having this problem — updating the contacts using the method described (which is the only way as these settings are not available via the contact record when GDPR is turned off), doesn't affect the record.


Just to clarify, the steps being followed are provided in the knowledgebase article previously linked, under the Section titled "Add subscriptions in bulk from the contacts dashboard" and the subsequent bullet point "If you don't have GDPR functionality enabled:"

The actions taken and behaviour is EXACTLY the same as descibed by @djowhite

I have been able to successfully add contacts to a subscription type via a workflow, but unfortunately it's not a solution for ad-hoc additions.


I've opened a ticket with support so will update this thread if they can provide a solution to the problem!


Thanks @JHooper , I never resolved this issue to my satisfaction, I just hadn't got back to running it to ground yet!

Participant | Partner

I hear you @djowhite, the solution I have is not to my satisfaction either but for everyone's benefit, this is the lowdown…

The devs looked into it and decided that the knowledgebase is wrong and needs an update — rather than addressing what is clearly a problem with the code and functionality!


Not great… however, the support rep did come up with a workaround. 


  1. Create a workflow without an enrollment trigger (contacts can be enrolled manually)
  2. Second step: "Manage Subscription Status" > New Opt Status "Opted In" > Communication Subscription Type [Select your list]
  3. Then from your Contact lists: Select contacts > More (dropdown) > Enrol in Workflow [Select your workflow]

I can't say I'm happy — implemnting a hack feels like a pitiful outcome for best in class software, but at least there is a way to make it work.

I have created a seperate post to define the problem and suggest it as an idea for improvement. If you'd like to see this fixed please head to this page and Upvote 👍