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What is the meaning of opted out?

What is the meaning of opted out? What’s the difference between opt out and opt in? How does opt-out affect your marketing efforts? In this post we explain what opt-out is, if you need to provide this option to your users and how opt out applies in marketing.

opted out meaning

What is the meaning of opted out?

When someone has opted out, it generally means that they’ve indicated a preference to not be included in something. A common scenario is where users opt-out of an email list by unsubscribing or where Californian consumers opt out of having their personal information shared or sold under CCPA provisions.

What’s the difference between opt out and opt in?

Opt-in means that a user must take a positive or affirmative action before being included in something (e.g. a user has opted in if they sign-up to an email list or click “Accept” on a consent banner).

Opt-out means that a user can bee included in something without the need of any action on their part (e.g including a US-based user on an email list under CAN-SPAM provisions ). Under most opt-out regimes, users must be given the possibility to opt-out easily.

How does opt out affect marketing?

Where opt-out regimes legally apply, they can pose both pros and cons to marketing. We outline the main points below:


  • Greatly simplifies marketing efforts on a technical level (no need to set up consent collection mechanisms)
  • Larger lists (as users can be added at any time unless they’ve previously opted out) and a, therefore, increased potential to get the message in front of more users.


  • Less targeted list. Because anyone can be added there’s a high possibility of reaching users that are not interested in the product or service being marketed.
  • Higher risk of annoying users and being flagged as spam, which can reduce the overall reach on mailing lists and leas to being black-listed by email filters.

See also