Many businesses have had the opt-in vs. opt-out discussion at one time or another. The question asked: do you get visitors to take an action to sign up for your newsletter or offers? This is considered opt-in. Or should you email people that never signed up nor have done business with you and tell them they can unsubscribe if they don’t want to hear from you? This is known as opt-out.

At VerticalResponse we have always recommended that you get people to opt-in to your list or only email those who have done business with you. You usually wind up with higher open and click rates, and lower bounce and unsubscribe rates, which gives you a better return on your email marketing campaigns. Generally if you use an opt-out method, it means that you’ve obtained a list or someone has sold you a list, and many times these lists have been built in an unethical way.

Here is a perfectly great example of an opt-out email campaign I recently received from a company called OptInteractive, totally unsolicited.

Dear Janine,

Welcome to our email program! You are now among a select group of professionals who receive emails packed with product news, information and offers.Our hope is that you will enjoy this email program and take advantage of its offerings. If, however, you do not wish to receive emails from us, please click on the unsubscribe link below. Keep in mind that you can unsubscribe at any time in the future as well.

Thanks, Your Friends at Dunhill Interactive

Please click Unsubscribe  from receiving future emails.

Lesson: The “from label” reads “Opinteractive”, but they signed the email “Dunhill Interactive” so I’m not sure which company (neither of whom I have an affiliation with), is sending me the email.  And “OptIn-teractive” sounds more like “OptOut-teractive”. They probably scraped my email address from the blog or a website somewhere and added me to this list.

Again, we don’t recommend you start to build an e-relationship by force-feeding recipients your messaging and telling them they can opt out or unsubscribe. By doing it the right way, you’re brand will be protected.

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