Opt-in Email Marketing – what does it mean and how important is it?

When it comes to marketing online, one of the oldest, easiest and most trusted methods of getting information about your products or services to the online masses is to use email marketing. With over half of people online each day sending and receiving emails, there is a huge amount of potential in email marketing, however, in the past it was common for businesses to unscrupulously spam prospects’ email accounts. This is not only illegal but it certainly doesn’t make a good impression on future customers or create any kind of interest in your service, not to mention this can affect your reputation.

Thankfully spam filters were introduced which gave breed to a new form of email marketing – “opt-in marketing” or “permission marketing”, a term coined by internet marketing guru – Seth Godin.

What is “Opt-in” Marketing?

Let’s say you have a new product or service and want to promote it, there are a number of ways you could go about doing this, but the simplest and most productive method is opt-in email marketing.

It involves:

  • Placing a form on your website, where readers and potential customers can give you their email address with the understanding that they will receive useful and interesting information on a certain topic from you.
  • Giving customers the option to agree to receiving marketing emails and offers in the future, during the process of purchasing products from your website.


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You then create a targeted email campaign and send these subscribers offers and information about your service.
This method of marketing your product is not only ethical but extremely effective in boosting sales conversions.

What are the advantages over other Methods?

Let’s compare email marketing to its closest relative – flyering. With this method of marketing, the first task is to have a flyer design drawn up, then have it printed and then organise distribution. Then the only way you can track the success of this campaign is to use a special offer code which you can monitor if used.

Top 5 reasons to use Opt-In Email Marketing

1. Instant reporting

Email marketing is a quick and easy way of sending info about your product to the prospect’s doorstep – their email account. With most email marketing platforms you can see who has your email open in real time, the peak number of opens, also any Facebook or Twitter shares that occur and how many people have clicked on the shared links.

2. Easy to learn and implement

Email marketing is so easy to learn and add to your existing marketing strategy that you would be wasting a valuable opportunity by not using it.

3. They want to hear from you

An understated advantage of opt-in email marketing is that prospects that opt-in have done so because they want you to email them and therefore even if they are distracted while checking their emails, they will come back to it. Maybe not straight away but your email is still in their inbox, waiting to be read again…

4. The start can be automated

Once you create your signup form you can also create a welcome or double opt-in email in the system. You can sit back safe in the knowledge that once a new subscriber submits the form trigger the welcome or double opt-in email for you, no matter what time it is.

5. Better results

Working in Email Marketing for the past 5 years I have noticed that companies that build their own database from scratch get much larger open and click through rates than companies that purchase data. But why is this? People recognise your brand and are more likely to remember who you are or have an interest in your services if they have subscribed. If you are a new or unknown company who has purchased data they may not know who you are or even require your business services at all.

In review

Opt-in email marketing is so adaptable, efficient, simple to use that it is a must for getting the word out about your product or service. By offering free and interesting content like a trial of your software or a digital download like an ebook, visitors to your site will gladly opt-in to receiving emails from you in exchange for this information.

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