Email Opt-in, Opt-out Processes Not Quite There Yet

April 30, 2008

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When obtaining permission to send out emails, nearly 31% of email marketers use a confirmed opt-in method (double opt-in), according to eROI’s “The Cradle & The Grave” survey about marketers’ email subscribe and unsubscribe processes.

Though these processes are improving, they have yet to reach “exceptional” levels, eROI said.

Among the key findings of the survey of 500 email marketers:


  • Only about 31% of respondents say they use confirmed opt-in.


  • Of those that do, only 4% provide more than 10 ways for someone to opt in, whereas three-quarters provide just 1-3 ways.
  • As incentives for opting in, marketers tend to provide offers with perceived high value and low cost to them:
    • 88% offer newsletter subscription
    • 29% offer access to preferred content
    • 24% offer discounts/coupons
    • 22% offer some kind of contest
  • One-third of marketers don’t do any segmenting at opt-in.


  • 30% of marketers don’t pass along opt-in names to other systems (e.g., CRM)
  • 65% don’t pass along subscribers opt-outs to other systems.
  • Among third-party apps, CRM systems lead the way in receiving opt-in/out information:


  • After an opt-out occurs, over one-third of email marketers send a confirmation email.
  • Almost 90% of email marketers do not survey unsubscribers at the time of opt-out, whereas such surveys can provide invaluable insight about the reasons for opting out.

Feedback Loop

  • Nearly one-quarter of email marketers don’t know what’s done with abuse complaints received via their email service provider or? internet service providers (feedback loop).
  • Only about half of email marketers monitor feedback loops.

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