By definition, opt-in means to choose to do something, take part in an activity, or agree to an arrangement without being forced or compelled to do so. In marketing, however, it has a more complex meaning.

What is Opt-in?

Opt-in is a form of permission marketing that involves customers providing explicit consent to receive communication from a brand. This could be through various media, such as email or SMS, and may contain product updates, advertising, promo codes, and other marketing materials. 

Often, a pop-up form is used to encourage consumers to sign up for a subscription newsletter or promotional content. It typically includes a box that a user can tick to confirm their agreement to receive the specified marketing content.

What is Opt-out?

Brands that use the opt-in approach usually offer an opt-out process too. This lets customers unsubscribe and have their email addresses removed from the database. To still gain some benefit from opt-outs, marketers include a feedback form in the opt-out process. Tick boxes that indicate reasons why a customer has unsubscribed provide insights on how a marketing strategy can be improved.

What Are the Benefits of Opt-in?

1. Builds email lists fast.

The opt-in process usually takes just one step to finish. Customers can also conveniently use third-party websites to register. This helps you build your mailing database fast and reduce the number of unconfirmed subscribers.

2. Increases open rates.

When customers sign up for subscriptions or newsletters, they signify their interest in promotional content from a brand. So, they are more likely to open e-mails and click to learn more about new offerings. This significantly increases your open rates

3. Helps grow brand organically.

Opt-in marketing builds a consumer base with customers who are genuinely interested in your products and services. This helps you grow your brand using your existing resources.

4. Increases engagement.

You get better engagement from customers who show interest in what you have to offer. They are more likely to give after-sales feedback and respond to product offerings. Your chances of upselling or cross-selling are also high among those who have already made purchases from your brand.

5. Improves marketing strategy.

By analyzing the demographics and purchasing behavior of customers who opt-in, you can enhance your marketing strategy to increase your conversions. You can tailor your promotional content to appeal to your subscribers.

What Are the Tips for Opt-In Marketing?

1. Keep sign-up forms short.

A sign-up form on your website is the best way to get your customers to opt-in for email marketing messages. You can use pop ups or place the form in a noticeable section of your homepage. Refrain from asking for too much information to keep the opt-in process easy and fast. A single field where they can input their e-mail address will suffice.

2. Use a lead magnet or other incentives.

Give your customers a good reason to want to receive content from you. Incentivize opt-ins with free eBooks, toolkits, checklists, or whatever resource they can get value from. You can also offer coupons, rewards, or special discounts for future purchases.

3. Ensure GDPR compliance.

Most consumers are now wary of their privacy and the information they provide. Most states are also already more particular about GDPR compliance. So, consider having two tick boxes in your sign-up forms: one that indicates a customer’s consent to receiving content, and another that indicates acknowledgement of your privacy policy and terms of service.

4. Be transparent.

Allot a couple of lines in your sign-up form for information on what customers can expect from the content they are opting into. Indicate what they will receive and how often they will receive it. Be clear if there will be a daily, weekly, or monthly correspondence.

5. Be creative.

The subscribe button is overused. Be creative with your call-to-action and use unique phrases for your click button.

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.