10 Ways to Present Legal Terms at Sign-up

Oct 26, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Sign-up...NOW! We always want sign-ups to happen as soon as possible, because that means business. But does it mean legal business? If your customers are signing up online and aren’t being prompted to accept your legal terms before sign-up confirmation, it might not. Legal terms such as terms & conditions, terms of service or terms of use must be conspicuously presented to users in order for them to be considered enforceable. This isn’t a new concept, either. This Forbes article from awhile back conveyed this same message. Why is it taking so long for people to using this best-practice information?  

Here are 10 enforceable ways to present your legal terms at sign-up. Want to jump to maintaining time-stamped tamper proof digital records of the acceptance of these terms? Say no more!

1. Checkbox at bottom of sign-up flow
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This is as easy as creating a checkbox in your html pages using JavaScript. With a link to the Terms of Service, the checkbox ensures that users are actively agreeing with the click of their mouse or tap of their phone. If the box is not checked, then a pop-up will indicate that moving forward with sign-up can only be accomplished by checking the box. 

2. Checkbox pop-up after completed registration

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The same checkbox feature is repeated here, but can be presented at a different time. Instead of including the checkbox in the initial sign-up flow, it can be it’s very own pop-up that manifests before users move on to the next step in the registration flow.

3. “I agree” button
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Providing a link to terms and conditions, but confirming the agreement with an “I agree” button is also a viable option. Just including the link alone using a browsewrap agreement is not best practice because those agreements are typically not enforceable.  

4. Scroll-through box 
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Embed the entirety of terms in your registration flow requiring users to scroll through contents of legal agreement on the same page of the sign-up. Put a check a box at the bottom of agreement for users to indicate that they agree to the listed terms. 

5. Send an email

After a sign-up flow is complete, sending a registration confirmation email is protocol. Typically, a link must be clicked to seal the sign-up deal--this email can easily include legal terms with a button to confirm user-acceptance. Want to sign-up? Then accepting the terms is a must! 

6. Use an infographic
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This is a little far-off on the presentation of legal terms, but Upworthy did it and it was easy to follow. While the mechanics of user-acceptance of terms is important, the legal terms themselves should also be easy to comprehend. There's nothing wrong with making legalese more approachable! 

7. Take note of best-practices

Eliminating as much legalese as possible should be a definite goal when developing terms that will speak to your customers, but that’s for naught if key details are missing from your terms of use. Make sure to do your research and put thought into what your terms are going to say. Don’t just copy someone else’s that “look good enough.” Businesses should know what they are including in their agreements to leave no surprises for potential questions.

8. Use a third-party 

APIs are all the rage in the tech-scene now. They provide built-in, customizable features that can pop right into an app or website. There’s an API for everything, including the presentation of legal terms. PactSafe, in particular, is a clickwrap API that can be embedded into your app or site to help present your terms. Cool thing about this is that it’s already built. There’s also instant recordkeeping built in so after terms are presented and accepted, teams can actually tell who accepted what, when. 

9. Include in final deal contract

With everything being digitally native now, thinking of signing-up for anything creates the assumption that it’s online. Deals surpassing the freemium model and other online offered packages, however, still need negotiated. After redlining and negotiating, final contracts are sent out via email, and hopefully through an e-signing service. Signing a large contract to initiate service sign-up prior to product access being granted is the most traditional presentation of legal terms. 

10. Create unique acceptance experience

Creativity is always appreciated! Execution of online legal agreements through a new means would be cool to see. Playing around with non-traditional buttons could be fun, like having users click a lightbulb that changes colors as it turns on and reveals “I agree.” Make it a jumble game where users must unscramble letters revealing a word indicating acceptance. If you can track who accepted, there are many possibilities to branch out.

Have an idea you think would be great for presenting legal terms to customers at sign-up? Leave your idea in the comments or e-mail us at contact@pactsafe.com!

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Amber Ferrari

Written by Amber Ferrari