marketing executive at Optinbuilders
19 April 2006 19:46pm
Opting-in, Opting-out - What Does it Mean? – Anne Carol (Optin Builders)
As state and national legislatures, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and business’s turn up the heat on spammers, there's more incentive than ever to stay on the right side of the law - and in customers' good graces. This article will help demystify the language behind important concepts like single opt-in, notified opt-in, double opt-in and opt-out that form the basis for distinguishing Spam from legitimate email.
Opt-out email marketing assumes the recipient wants to receive email unless they specifically ask to be removed from the list - in other words, "opt-out" or "unsubscribe". If readers fail to state explicitly that they no longer wish to remain on the list, they can expect to receive messages until they make their desire known. Response rates tend to be lower when sending opt-out email, so be prepared for this result when you're analyzing your campaigns.
Under single opt-in formats, businesses only mail addresses that have been actively subscribed to their list, typically by completing a web form, filling out a business reply card or sending an email to a specific address. Because the registration process is proactive, a single-opt in policy offers a higher level of security than the opt-out
Since single opt-in procedure does not require email address verification, it is possible to register other people without their consent, merely by having knowledge of that person's email address.
Single opt-in email policies are less susceptible to spam traps. Spam traps are essentially email addresses or domains that have not registered to receive any email. The problem for marketers comes when people deliberately subscribe spam trap addresses to their lists.
Typically, response rates will be higher if you take an opt-in approach - not so high as with 'double opt-in' - but it's a step in the right direction.
Notified opt-in is similar to single opt-in and the two methods are often confused or grouped as one for this reason. In notified opt-in formats, however, after an email address is subscribed to the list, it's also sent a message offering the account's owner a chance to remove himself. If he fails to do so, he will remain on the list until such time as he opts out. While this is a step above traditional single opt-in, it does not clear the bar set by double opt-in because it subscribes the email account by default, instead of requiring active confirmation.
"Double opt-in", also known as "confirmed opt-in" or "closed-loop" in some circles, provides an additional layer of security by requiring that email accounts be both subscribed and then verified by a conformation email before they are added to the list. As a result, only those people with access to the account can respond to the confirmation message, greatly reducing the chance of abuse. For this reason, double opt-in is regarded as the gold standard for secure email marketing.
Optin Builders has a good track record in building targeted custom opt-in lists!
The safe route for emarketing is to take a double opt-in approach which not only to boost deliverability rates but also to increase response rates. However, double opt-in policies are not practical for every situation or every business. Regardless of the email policy you adopt, when adding email addresses to your list and be vigilant in keeping it current.
Founder at Hanes Enterprises
21 September 2006 09:10am
What % of optin verification do you "expect" ?
Head of Digital Marketing at Future Publishing
13 March 2007 12:04pm
Hi Anne - what is the term for, and your thoughts on, pre-ticking an opt-in box, i.e. Tick here is you want to receive our emails (with the box pre-ticked)?
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