Home Internet Opt-in Email vs. Opt-out Email Marketing – Which is Better?

Opt-in Email vs. Opt-out Email Marketing – Which is Better?

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Elements of Successful Outreach Emails
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Email marketing for lead generation must be a key part of the marketing strategy of an online business. The use of email marketing campaigns has transformed with trends.

Recent email marketing statistics show that:

  • The number of active email users is forecasted to reach 4.3 billion in 2023.
  • 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2019.
  • The average expected ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing.

The escalating use of emails makes every business use it carefully. Offering value via email marketing must be a priority with every email.


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You can adopt two different types of email marketing strategies

  • Opt-in
  • Opt-out

Organizations are willing to experiment with these two strategies to identify the best one for their organization. However, there are certain laws that you must be aware of to utilize these strategies.

In this article, we will compare Opt-in with Opt-out.

What is Opt-in Email Marketing?

Opt-in email marketing is the process where the readers voluntarily subscribe to your website, expressing their consent.

In this regard, you can be certain about the willingness and interest of the readers to receive more of the content you offer.

Opt-in email marketing can be implemented by using the following elements:

  • Checkboxes
  • Subscribe buttons
  • Submit option

These elements enforce a clear affirmative action from the user.

For instance, when a viewer arrives on your site to make a purchase, the visitor gets an option to subscribe to your website to get notifications about every update on their transaction (including confirmation emails and receipts). This option is given at the time of the account sign up as a checkbox below the signup form.

What is Opt-out Email Marketing?

Opt-out is an email marketing approach that gives subscribers an option to unsubscribe if they are disinterested in receiving your emails.

In an opt-out email marketing approach, the viewers are added to the subscriber’s list without their consent. They notice it only after receiving emails from your website.

To give an option to opt out from the list, the following elements may be used:

  • Unsubscribe button
  • Uncheck the box (when signing up)

Suppose, a user receives emails from a website that they may not have consented to get emails from.

This reaction can be because of various reasons

  • To avoid spammy emails
  • To stop receiving irrelevant content
  • Unaware of subscribing

No matter what the cause is, according to the CAN-SPAM Act, your email must include clearly visible options on how the viewers can opt-out of getting emails from you in the future.

Opt-in vs Opt-out

Opt-in can generate leads for your business when done right.

List Building Program

Let’s look at the advantages of using the opt-in email approach.

1. An effective marketing tactic

Email Marketing is a cost-efficient and highly-productive marketing tactic. It helps to directly target the interested audience, who can be converted to customers.

2. A good way to share valuable content

All businesses have to share valuable content. Creating engaging content makes readers get back to reading your content.

3. Double opt-in for collecting interested leads

A subscription confirmation link can be sent to confirm their user’s interest in opting in. This is the best approach to collect highly engaged leads.

With so many pros, there are several email opt-in strategies to increase the opt-in rate.

Addressing data privacy with GDPR

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is an important guideline for companies marketing to users in the European Union (EU).

The main objective of GDPR is to protect users from the misuse of their data. This makes it easier for EU citizens to file a complaint if they find their data being used without their consent.

Effect of GDPR on Email Marketing

As an avid user of email marketing campaigns, it is crucial to comply with GDPR laws. The significant aspect of these laws is the consent of the receiver. The controller has the right to protect their data.

Avoiding and neglecting the regulations under GDPR can leave you in serious trouble.

Thus, you have to be GDPR compliant by

  • Obtaining Consent
  • Providing the user’s data access
  • Enabling data deletion
  • Enabling data portability
  • Enforcing rigorous privacy protocols

Opt-out must be clearly tagged in your emails as it gives the choice to the readers in opting out at any moment. Encourage feedback from people to know the reasons behind them unsubscribing. Being spammy will make you lose more subscribers.

The key is to give people the option to opt-in and opt-out at any given point, with consent

While executing opt-in or opt-out strategy according to your preferences, it’s recommended to be aware of the regulations, laws, and customer’s interests.

Opt-in email marketing is ideal as it precisely highlights the readiness of the people opting in.

However, in case they change their minds, people should be free to opt-out from receiving your emails.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article Opt-in Email vs. Opt-out Email Marketing – Which is Better? was written by NaijaTechGuide Team. The article was last modified: July 9th, 2020
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