‘Opt-in’ or ‘Opting in’ means requiring a user to make an active, positive choice to increase their interaction with a website or other media.
Generally, this implies that the default option selected by the original creator of the content is minimal interaction where the website is entirely passive in its dealings with a user. ‘Opting in’ can therefore often refer to an (unticked) tick box that when selected allows that user to receive further content to their inbox or can even refer to a button that gives consent to download cookies onto a browser.
For instance: GDPR guidelines introduced by the EU in 2018 turned good practice into law by requiring websites to ask for clear, concise consent from website users by ‘requiring positive opt-in’ without any pre-ticked boxes or default consent.
In email marketing, there are two different kinds of opt-ins.
Usually, an (unticked) tick box on a website asking a user to subscribe. It doesn’t require any further confirmation from the user, making it a fast way for site and list owners to grow their email list but also increases the likelihood of incorrect email addresses, inactive users and a higher unsubscribe rate.
After a single opt-in has been selected by a user, a second opt-in is sent, usually via an email that then requires confirmation.
Most email marketing now requires a double opt-in for the sake of keeping a ‘clean’ or good quality list of interested subscribers with confirmed email addresses.Glossary Index