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Opt-In vs Opt-Out in Email Marketing

What is difference between opt-in and opt-out in Email marketing? Here’s a very quick overview over this concept.

Opt-in vs Opt-out

The concept as such isn’t too hard to explain.

“Opt-in” is the process used to describe when a positive action is required in order to subscribe a user to a newsletter list, for example.

“Opt-out” on the other hand means that a user can be signed up much more easily and he needs to be given the possibility to opt-out easily.

Under opt-in regimes, the second “Opt-out” process would be forbidden. Usually opt-out is used as a term for the regime that is being applied for US-American direct marketing messages, while opt-in is the regime that is used under European and Canadian data protection rules.

The data protection agency of the UK explains opt-in boxes in this way:

Opt-in boxes are boxes where a tick indicates that the person agrees to receiving the specified marketing. Best practice is to provide an unticked opt-in box, and invite the person to confirm their agreement by ticking. This is the safest way of demonstrating consent, as it requires a positive choice by the individual to give clear and explicit consent.

The way in which you sign up your users to direct marketing and which privacy disclosures you must give them exactly depends on who you are trying to sign up (which country do these people reside in?).

Where can you find more information about opt-in and opt-out?

You can read our Newsletter Guide here for more information on legal requirements related to email lists including opt-in and opt-out. Another great way to get specific information is to contact the data protection agencies that govern your use-case. Find some of the most important ones below: