What is Opt-In Email?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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In an effort to avoid "spamming," or bulk mailing of unsolicited email advertisements, some businesses have begun utilizing opt-in email services. This type of service simply means that the user has agreed to accept advertisements and information regarding certain specified topics, such as business newsletters, coupons for particular services, or messages announcing new products or sales events.

Opt-in email requires the target to opt-in by clicking a link, registering, or confirming his or her email address. Some advertisers even use a double opt-in email option, requiring at least two separate actions in order to receive a message or a newsletter, to ensure that no one can claim to have been spammed. Consumers are always free to opt-out of such mailings at any time.

Obviously, opt-in email advertising is far more cost effective than direct marketing via regular mail, door-to-door sales, or telemarketing. Paper, printing, envelopes, and postage can add up quickly. Door to door sales require paying out commissions. Telemarketing results in high long distance bills, often without great results, as consumers grow more and more turned off by such calls. Even if you pay a fee for opt-in email advertising services, it will still cost less than the continued overhead and expenses of these more traditional options.


While opt-in email seems to be the answer to quick, simple, inexpensive advertising, it may not be the perfect solution. Some businesses encounter less than reputable companies that simply sell collections of email addresses even though the owners did not actually agree to receive advertisements. Email addresses are frequently "harvested" from many different online sources, and lists are bought, sold, and traded frequently. It is difficult to know for sure how email addresses were obtained.

Most reputable firms will offer to complete the mailings for you, and send your ads out over their list. It is unlikely that they would give away lists that have taken such effort to compile. People who have actually agreed to take part in opt-in email are not easy to find. Compiling such a list takes a great deal of time and energy, because most consumers are leery of agreeing to accept ads, so this is something you should keep in mind when looking for a service.

Also, be aware that there are federal laws concerning advertising and spamming. You could get into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission if you do not follow all the rules precisely. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of email advertising -- even opt-in email -- or hire an experienced, reputable company to handle your advertising.


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Discuss this Article

Post 5

Great post, always looking for information on building a list.

I have found an ecourse with help on building a list.

Post 3

Many internet marketers will encourage people to build a list by gathering opt in email addresses. There is nothing wrong with this system, and it has proven to be quite successful for many people. There always seem to be those who abuse it though and give it a bad name for those who are using it honestly.

If you are a business person who uses opt-in email forms to gather addresses, I would encourage you to treat those names as you would want to be treated. Do not bombard them with meaningless communication, but make sure you stay in touch with your list with information that is appealing and pertinent to your service.

Post 2

Even though you opt-in to a certain email list, your name can still be sold or shared with other lists. Most opt-in boxes will say that they will never sell your information and that they hate spam. So although your name may never be sold, sometimes it can be shared with other lists that you may get offers from.

Opt-in email lists are a good way for people to build up their business and it makes it convenient to reach a targeted amount of people in one email. You can always unsubscribe, but I would only sign up with people that you trust in the first place.

Post 1

Opt-In email sign ups have seem to become very popular. I have seen many of them on facebook fan pages. I think this is a good way to legitimately build up your email list. By having people opt-in to your list, you know that you are getting a list of people who are interested in the products or services you offer.

People can always opt-out or unsubscribe at any time, but you know that when you contact them, they are more willing to read your communication because they have personally signed up to hear from you.

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