Email Opt Out? Email Opt In? Which Is Better for You?

By: Kevin Gao, CEO & Founder of Comm100

If you are starting to build an Email Marketing list, either on your website or by purchasing or renting emails from others, this article explains the three different kinds of email lists - Email Opt Out Lists, Email Opt In Lists and Email Double Opt In Lists - and the pros and cons of each. Those email list types range from the least restrictive to the most restrictive. Each is explained in detail below.

What are the Types of Opt-In Lists?

Email Opt Out

You started building up your email list through a sign up box on your site or a checkbox when a person registers or purchases a product. Then, along came some fussy marketing consultant and said, "Is this an opt in list? Is it a double opt in list?" You probably looked at them and wondered what exactly they meant and why it mattered.

There are three ways to build a list: Email Opt Out, Email Opt In and Email Double Opt In. Comm100 will describe all three options here as well as their benefits and drawbacks. You can then decide which is the right list option for you

Email Opt Out Lists

You'll sometimes hear this type of list called simply email "Opt Out" or "Negative Consent". When a person registers at your website, makes a purchase or signs up for a free white paper or other freebie from you, somewhere in the small print is the information that by taking that action they are agreeing to receive emails from you. The user can choose to opt out and leave the email list later, but they've implicitly given you permission to email them.

The upside of an email opt out list is that it can grow very quickly. If everybody who takes an action on your site is then on your email list, your list can grow quite rapidly. Many of those people who wouldn't have actively signed up for your email list if you asked them to will ultimately discover that they appreciate your email newsletters or promotions and will turn into active readers and customers.

The downside is that this type of email opt out list building can also increase the number of spam complaints that you receive when you send an email. Users who don't remember signing up for your email, or who are angry that you tricked them into signing up, will quickly hit the spam flag when they receive your email instead of coming back to you to opt out. This has negative long and short term effects. In the short term, it makes your email metrics look less successful, while In the long term, higher than average spam complaints will do permanent damage to your email sender reputation and could result in all of your emails going to junk folder.

Email Opt In & Double Opt In Lists

Email Opt Out

Now you've know something about Email Opt Out List, let go on to have a look at the Opt In Lists. Unlike the email opt out list, in an email opt in list, a user actively opts in, or chooses to be on, your email list. This can be done either by having them check a box when they register or purchase or by including a special sign-up box on your website. Users enter their email, check a box that says that they agree to receive emails from you and then submit that information via a clickable button.

The benefit of this type of email list is that your clients are actively saying that they want to receive emails from you.Therefore you're building the most responsive email list that you can. However, in this way, your email list will grow more slowly than email opt out list.

There's another Opt In list called Double Opt In. It is the most difficult, but ultimately safest way to build an email list. It also usually has the highest ROI since it creates a list of entirely qualified leads. In this method, a person opts-in as described above. They then receive an email from you with a link that they must click in order to be added to the email list. s to be on, your email list. This can be done either by having them check a box when they register or purchase or by including a special sign-up box on your website. Users enter their email, check a box that says that they agree to receive emails from you and then submit that information via a clickable button.

The benefits of this type of list building are significant. You're sure that you really are emailing to people who want to receive your emails. While this won't completely eliminate your spam or deliverability problems, it will reduce them.

The problem with this type of email list, as you can see, is that it is a much slower way to build your email list than either an Email Opt Out List or Opt In List. Often, even asking people to complete one action to sign-up for an email list is too much, let alone two actions!

In conclusion, Comm100 suggest you to find out at what point on the spectrum you're most comfortable before you decide which type of list to use. If simply growing the number of names on your list is the priority, Email Opt Out is your best choice. The more qualified and "safe" you want your list to be, the more you should move up to an Opt In or Double Opt In list. Certainly, when renting or buying a list, you should ask if the list was originally Email Opt Out, Opt In or Double Opt In.

No matter what email marketing strategy you are taking, the first step to ensure a successful email campaign is to choose a reliable bulk email sender.Comm100, who provides this article, offers you powerful email marketing software, which is both a great long-term and short-term solution to improving your email newsletter program to a new level.

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