Opt in/Opt out

“Opt-out, single opt-in, notified opt-in and double opt-in, are terms we refer to when talking about newsletter and email marketing.
These are, basically, procedures that marketeers have to follow, in order to start a newsletter, or an email marketing campaign, without the risk to be reported as spam and to be compliant with privacy regulations.


Opt-out based email marketing requires the recipient to receive newsletters until they explicitly declares that they no longer want to receive messages from the list. If the recipient doesn’t express this wish, he will continue to receive the emails. The implications of this model can be found in the open and click rates of campaigns which usually settle on very low values.


Single opt-in

Single opt-in based marketing requires a subscription to a list, therefore the recipient’s explicit consent to receive communications via email or newsletters. This explicit declaration usually takes place through a registration form on the website or requesting the registration via email. This model provides greater security than the opt-out model, however it also has some limitations:

  1. single opt-in model doesn’t require verification of the recipients email addresses, so it’s possible that someone subscribes to the list using third people email addres without their authorization.
  2. For the same reason it’s possible that, due to typing errors, an incorrect address may be entered in the list.
    Usually, the response rates to emails sent on the basis of the single opt-in model are higher than those obtained with an opt-out approach, but still lower than those obtained through the double opt-in model.

Notified opt-in

The notified opt-in model is very similar to the single opt-in model and is often confused with this one. The difference between the two models lies in the fact that, after registration, the recipient receives a communication with the possibility of unsubscribing from the list. If the recipient doesn’t proceed with the cancellation request, he will remain on the list until he decides to request cancellation.

Double opt-in

The double opt-in model, also known as “confirmed opt-in”, guarantees a higher level of security, requiring not only registration, but also confirmation of this registration via a subsequent notification email. This means that only the real owner of the email address is registered on the list will be able to confirm the registration. This eliminates problems related to single opt-in models due to false registrations or incorrect addresses.

As of now, this model represents the standard in the creation and management of contact lists, as it’s the safest and correct method to manage direct relationships with the subscribers to a list.

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