Email is a bridge between you and your clients: it gets your message to the people that benefit from your content.
You don’t want your email marketing efforts to be wasted. And you definitely don’t want them to damage your brand. To avoid ending up in junk mail (or being reported as spam), it’s crucial to give your prospects the opportunity to choose you.
So, just what is email opt-in? And why is it important for your business?
What is Opt-in Email Marketing?
Opt-in email marketing is the process of inviting people to sign up for your email list. When a subscriber opts in, it gives you explicit permission to send them an email, newsletter, blog, ad, or any other form of digital message.
- Single opt-in is when a contact fills out and submits a form—also known as a lead capture form—that gives you permission to send them emails. It lets you know that the person wants to receive messages from you.
- Double opt-in allows subscribers to request to be added to your list. Then they receive a confirmation email with a link to verify that it’s okay to contact them. If they want to join the list, they have to click the link. So, they opt in twice.
Why Is Opt-in Important?
It’s simple: when you give people the choice to opt-in, they’re more likely to engage with your emails. People are constantly swamped with marketing messages. So, you don’t want to annoy them with uninvited messages. That could get your message deleted, or worse, reported as spam.
When you ask for permission first, you find the people that are interested in your brand. These are the people most likely to use your products and services—they are your target clients.
Ultimately, opt-in campaigns help you find your ideal clients.
Why do you need opt-in for your email marketing?
- To build successful lists:
If your list is full of people that didn’t choose to hear from you with opt-in, then many people won’t engage with your emails. And you risk leaving a bad impression of your brand.
Opt-in email marketing keeps your email lists full of people who want to be on them—with higher open and click through rates.
- To obey laws:
Different countries have different laws that deal with unsolicited (spam) emails. And with a global business world, it’s easier and safer to use opt-in for all your email campaigns.
In the U.S. the CAN-SPAM Act offers compliance guidelines for businesses using email marketing. While opt-ins are not required by CAN-SPAM, opt-outs are. And opt-ins are recommended to avoid complaints and investigations into your email marketing practices. Non-compliant emails can face hefty fines—up to $43,280 per email.
In Canada, email and digital marketing is regulated by Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). And, unlike the U.S., you must have a clear opt-in.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the E.U. regulates how businesses can interact with people online. And like Canada, you must use opt-in.
- To avoid getting blacklisted:
Aggressive list building tactics can get you on a domain name system blacklist (DNSBL). Spam complaints are a quick way to find yourself on one of the many blacklists. The process of getting yourself removed from a list can be time-consuming. So, it’s best to avoid being put on one.
Also, many email marketing services can’t afford to have their IP addresses blacklisted because of your emails. So, they monitor complaints and the amount of emails that come back as undeliverable. If they’re high, they’ll block you from using their services before they get blacklisted.
Deliver messages to people who want to read them. When people choose to get your messages, you know that they are interested in something you have to offer. You’ll have higher engagement and your brand will stand out.