Best practice for opt-in and opt-outs

Subscribing to a newsletter mailing list is called opting-in. When you don’t want to receive emails anymore, you would need to unsubscribe or opt-out. This same principle applies to commercial mobile communications. Opting-in and out complies with digital communication best practice.

Best practice for opt-ins

We recommend double opt-in opposed to single opt-in. Not only is double opt-in best practice but it generates a much higher quality of subscribers. Double opt-in involves subscribers confirming they would like to receive email or mobile communications from you. A good opt-in process:

  • Is verifiable. Proof can be provided showing a recipient has given their permission to the marketer to send emails and SMS’s to them. Without this permission, unsolicited commercial communications are labeled as spam.
  • Has a valid permission statement. Clear expectations about email and SMS communications have been set. Including how often subscribers can expect to receive emails or SMSs and what type of content they will be sent.

Best practice for the opt-outs

It’s imperative that subscribers and recipients can stop receiving commercial emails and SMS’s when they want to. A big no-no for marketers is to send non-permission based communications to recipients and then not allow them to opt-out. A good opt-out experience:

  • Is visible. Recipients should be able to quickly spot the unsubscribe mechanism. Prominent images and text calling recipients to action {click here to unsubscribe} can be used.
  • Is uncomplicated. Unsubscribing should be easy to do. Unsubscribe links that need 1-2 clicks to opt-out makes it a hassle free experience for recipients. Make sure the link works!
  • Is seamless. Recipients should never have to receive another email or SMS once they’ve opted-out. Unsubscribes should be actioned immediately and within 7 days.

Subscriber needs and interests change and instead of a daily newsletter, they might be happier with a weekly version. Subscribers can be redirected to a preference centre where they can choose what they want to receive and how often, if possible. Marketers could use the opportunity to find out why they’re unsubscribing and thank them for their participation.