Opt-in vs. Opt-out Email Marketing

I recently came across an article in BtoB Magazine, “Sending e-mail when you don’t have an opt-in” by Karen J. Bannan in an interview with Netprospex. The content suggests four opt-out email marketing practices that will make you so much more successful. As an employee of an email marketing company that prides itself on permission based marketing, I am going to have to disagree with Karen’s points.

The four points that are shared are learning more about your potential targets, getting you company name and personal information in front of them, making sure your messages are CAN-SPAM-compliant and opt-out information is visible and sending the right content. While each of these points are essential for e-marketing in general, permission based marketing makes these points far more relevant then opt-out marketing.

Let me explain…

The article suggests and I agree that you can send better e-mails when you know more about your prospect. Social media is one of these avenues. You can follow certain companies and individuals to get a better feel of who they are in the business world. By sending them an unsolicited email you run the risk of losing their interest all together and giving them the opportunity to mark your email as spam. When you engage them through social media and provide them an opportunity to opt-in to your e-marketing communications, you not only already know who they are but they know you and choose to learn more about you.

If you spend a little bit more time nurturing your prospects and enticing them with the benefits of your company leading to an opt-in you have won the race right off the bat. If you send unsolicited email even when it provides relevant content to the recipient you take a much greater risk of turning the individual away from your company and potentially harming your reputation as an email sender. Even if they do choose to continue to receive your emails you are just at the beginning of winning them over – you have a long way until your race is over.

Read more about an effective way to Lead Management

Tips and tricks of getting emails the right way:

  • Provide a white paper or industry report for free
  • Host a webinar
  • Put an opt-in web form on your website
  • Share the link to your opt-in web form through social media

See it’s not that hard and you will save time in the end. So, go and get permission…

Opt-in vs. Opt-out Email Marketing

2 Responses to “Opt-in vs. Opt-out Email Marketing”

  1. I agree with you that opt-in is truly the best way to go, however I think you can get good results from unsolicited emails as long as they are relevant, they inform, and you follow traditional email best practices as well. Not to mention CAN-SPAM. (And keep in mind I wrote the story, but the sentiment was from the sources. )


  2. Thank you for your response Karen.

    In writing this blog post I simply wanted to share the other side of the story and encourage people to practice permission based marketing. I would be doing my company a disservice if I didn’t respond.

    And yes I understand that Netprospex is the source and I made a change in the opening paragraph to introduce that.

    Thank you for your article.


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