Opt-in and Opt-out – When to opt which marketing strategy

Opt in & Opt out
Opt in & Opt out

Most companies seek consent from their customers before sending these promotional emails and SMS. Some companies might not ask permission beforehand. Instead, they give customers the option of withdrawing their consent whenever they feel like it. Depending upon whether we ask a customer to join or withdraw from receiving marketing material, we can distinguish the marketing strategies as opt-in or opt-out marketing types.

Customer consent is vital for determining whether they want to receive marketing or promotional content or not. The brands can use these contact details for various purposes.

For example, a company can notify its customers about a new product or service launch. They may want them to know when it offers discounts or offers through targeted messages. Many companies use contact details for branding and maintaining relationships with customers. 

Definition of opt-in and opt-out

If you want the customers to take a specific action to subscribe to your newsletters, promotional emails, etc., you are implementing the opt-in strategy.

Opt-out can be of two types. The first opt-out type would be when you give a choice to the customers to opt-out of the marketing campaigns right from the start. However, if you send the newsletters, promotional offers, and SMS by default unless the customers stop the notifications, it comes under the other type of opt-out strategy.

opt-in and opt-out- When does the question arise?

Digital marketers or brands need to choose either opt-in or opt-out when they intend to use content marketing strategies to promote and sell their products/services. However, the choice can vary depending upon the customer base, promotions adopted, and target audience.

opt-in and opt-out

opt-in and opt-out

The psychology behind opt-in and opt-out

As a digital marketer, you handle a company’s promotional and marketing strategies. The marketing preferences can differ from one individual to another. Also, how different people react to marketing emails and messages varies. Understanding customer psychology is the key to determining the best marketing strategy between opt-in and opt-out. 

Most people don’t change the default options while registering for a service or buying a product. So, keep the opt-in or opt-out alternative pre-selected or pre-ticked as per your marketing strategy. 

If you are at a stage where you want to expand your reach at any cost, keep the opt-in alternative pre-ticked. However, to engage with the customers and understand their psyche and expectations regarding a specific product or service, it is better to have the opt-out alternative pre-selected. It is because you are targeting only those who are interested in taking the conversation forward. 

Also, the messages that seek consent from the customers should be polite and professional. Avoid sounding rude or overtly persuasive, as it can affect your future marketing strategies. 

How does this help brands?

Using the opt-in and opt-out marketing preferences smartly helps brands communicate with their customers. A brand with a wide audience base does not need its customers to opt-in unless they are interested in their offerings. Similarly, a startup brand might want to keep bombarding their customers with promotions unless they opt-out of it.

Roadmap for where to use which strategy

Whether opt-in or opt-out is better for you also varies region-wise. For example, if you sell products/services in the EU, i.e. European Union nations, you need to follow the GDPR guidelines. As per these guidelines, you cannot process customers’ data unless they have consented to it. Also, the data collected must fit various requirements and contexts set by the law-making body. Like GDPR law, different countries and regions may have different regulations. Therefore, choose opt-in or opt-out only after understanding the regional law regarding the same. Also, analyze the marketing preference of your audience and experiment with both of them to decide which one works better for you.


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