Interesting Facts & Key Elements about Opt-in Email Advertising

Opt-in email is a term used when someone is not initially added to an emailing list and is instead given the option to join the emailing list. Typically, this is some sort of mailing list, newsletter, or advertising. Opt-out emails do not ask for permission to send emails, these emails are typically criticized as unsolicited bulk emails, better known as spam.

Opt-in email advertising, or permission marketing, is advertising via email whereby the recipient of the advertisement has consented to receive it.

[Will Add a List of Bulk Email marketing Suppliers or Service providers - soon ]

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A common example of permission marketing is a newsletter sent to an advertising firm's customers. Such newsletters inform customers of upcoming events or promotions or new products.

In this type of advertising, a company that wants to send a newsletter to their customers may ask them at the point of purchase if they would like to receive the newsletter.

With a foundation of opted-in contact information stored in their database, marketers can send out promotional materials automatically using autoresponders—known as drip marketing. They can also segment their promotions to specific market segments.

There are several common forms of opt-in email:

Unconfirmed opt-in/single opt-in

Someone first gives an email address to the list software (for instance, on a Web page), but no steps are taken to make sure that this address belongs to the person submitting it. This can cause emails from the mailing list to be considered spam because simple typos of the email address can cause the email to be sent to someone else. Malicious subscriptions are also possible, as are subscriptions that are due to spammers forging email addresses that are sent to the email address used to subscribe to the mailing list.

Confirmed opt-in (COI)/double opt-in (DOI)

A new subscriber asks to be subscribed to the mailing list, but unlike unconfirmed or single opt-in, a confirmation email is sent to verify it was really them. Generally, unless the explicit step is taken to verify the end subscriber's e-mail address, such as clicking a special web link or sending back a reply email, it is difficult to establish that the e-mail address in question indeed belongs to the person who submitted the request to receive the e-mail.

Using a confirmed opt-in (COI) (also known as a Double opt-in) procedure helps to ensure that a third party is not able to subscribe to someone else accidentally, or out of malice, since if no action is taken on the part of the e-mail recipient, they will simply no longer receive any messages from the list operator. Mail system administrators and non-spam mailing list operators refer to this as confirmed subscription or closed-loop opt-in. Some marketers call closed-loop opt-in "double opt-in".

This term was coined by marketers in the late 90s to differentiate it from what they call "single opt-in", where a new subscriber to an email list gets a confirmation email telling them they will begin to receive emails if they take no action. Some marketers contend that "double opt-in" is like asking for permission twice and that it constitutes unnecessary interference with someone who has already said they want to hear from the marketer.

However, it does drastically reduce the likelihood of someone being signed up to an email list by another person.

The double opt-in method is used by email marketers to ensure the quality of their list by adding an extra stop in the verification process.

The US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 does not require an opt-in approach, only an easy opt-out system. But opt-in is required by law in many European countries and elsewhere. It turns out that confirmed opt-in is the only way that you can prove that a person actually opted in if challenged legally.

Opt-out

Instead of giving people the option to be put in the list, they are automatically put in and then have the option to request to be taken out. This approach is illegal in the European Union and many other jurisdictions.

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