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Grow List Via Automatic Opt-In: Is this a Good or Bad Idea?

Email Marketers are always trying to find new and effective ways to grow their email list.  This can include noble and unscrupulous tactics.  One tactic I have noticed more and more is having an automatic email opt-in at purchase.  

It is a great practice to have an email sign-up box at checkout.  It is an acceptable best practice to have this sign-up box pre checked.  But now purchasers are being opted-in without even seeing a check box.  This is called an automatic opt-in.

The fact is that the check box can be removed and still CAN- SPAM compliant.  I have seen some retailers experience a 25% or more increase in email sign-ups from checkout.  These are already engaged customers.  Many of them might want to receive email from you.  But many of these new subscribers might not expect to be added to your list.

You will want to check with your internal legal and privacy council before making this live on your site. Also, you will probably need to make a change or revisit your privacy policy. Expect slight increase in opt-out from initial welcome email (you do have a Welcome email, right?).

So the question is: Is Growing Your Email List Via Automatic Opt-In a Good or Bad Idea?  

Share your thoughts with us.

Here is an example of a common checkout page.  In this case the email sign-up box is pre-checked.

Here is the same checkout page with an auto opt-in. There is not an email box at all. But once you enter your email address in the checkout form (anywhere on the form) you are opting-in to receive email.  This is not a question of legality but a question of good business practices.

1 comment:

  1. You can expect more than just higher opt-outs as a result of this practice. I would expect a spike in the number of emails being marked as 'spam' by the user. This will effect your deliverability as it will refelct poorly on your reputation.

    I suggest sticking with the pre-checked box... if you really must.