What is Opt-in?
Opt-in [verb] – When a visitor enters information on a landing page, squeeze page or opt-in page they are willingly providing details to receive information or contact from a person or company.
An opt-in is a form of consent given by web users, acknowledging interest in a product or service and authorizing a third party to contact them with further information. “Opting in” generally refers to email communication and is often used in eCommerce for permission to send newsletters, product sales, and other marketing material to customers.
Opt-in forms can be presented to customers and visitors in a variety of ways: pop-up forms on the homepage or product pages, dedicated landing pages, and built-in widgets across an eCommerce website.
Opt-ins are required by law
Giving users the option to opt-in and out of email communication isn’t just good manners – it’s the law. With nearly 100 billion spam emails sent every day, unsolicited email has become a popular tool for fraudulent activity. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 sets requirements for commercial email and enforcement by the FTC. Businesses must genuinely represent their identity and intentions, with all deception in the subject lines or originating email address explicitly forbidden. Most importantly, they must always provide a way for recipients to opt-out of receiving emails.
Double opt-ins add another step to the process by requiring users to confirm their email, a practice that reduces the number of recipients but generally increases prospect quality.
Some companies use double opt-in systems to be certain that the recipient wants their emails. The recipient fills out a form on a website or otherwise gives permission for the first opt-in. Then the recipient receives a second, automated email asking them to click on a link to confirm that they want to sign up.
Reputable companies always use opt-in lead lists when they’re sending out email marketing campaigns. Sending emails to large numbers of recipients who haven’t opted is spamming, and it’s highly unprofessional in addition to being against the law.
Even if you’re not technically spamming a prospect because you received permission from them in the past, they may forget that they’ve given you permission. If they think you’re a spammer, this may be all it takes to blacken your reputation online. Using double opt-in practices when practical can protect you against this kind of misconception. Prospects are more likely to remember the sign-up process if they must take that second step.
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