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Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

Use These Tips To Boost Engagement and Conversions

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing expert, or you’re just learning the ropes, understanding inbound marketing–and in particular, opt-in email marketing best practices–should be integral to your marketing strategy.

Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. But with the looming threat of falling into your contacts’ spam folder, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have their explicit consent by following the email opt-in best practices we discuss in this blog.

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

How do you build an opt-in email list? Why do I need email opt-in? What are the best email opt-in practices to follow in 2023? Let’s dive in. We’ll answer those questions, discuss what opt-in email marketing is, share tips for building a high-quality email list, and discuss which metrics tell you that you’re on the right track.

What Is Email Marketing Opt-in?

Email marketing opt-in is when a subscriber gives explicit permission for a business, publication, or organization to send them emails.

When a contact opts in, they’re saying they want to hear from you. This is a major benefit! It might mean sending outreach to fewer total inboxes, compared to outbound strategies like cold email outreach and digital direct mail–but the contacts you are reaching out to are more likely to engage with your content. (More on this later!)

Opt-in email marketing is all about building trust. Always provide clear and quality information and a way to unsubscribe from future emails. This will benefit both the contact and your email deliverability rate.

Email Marketing Opt-in: Benefits

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

Why do you need an email opt-in strategy? Well, for starters, email opt-in comes with a host of benefits. When your contacts opt-in for email marketing, you:

  • Ensure your contacts want to hear from you. This is more important than you may think. People generally respond poorly to ‘spam’ email–and if they didn’t opt in to your list, your email is just another piece of spam. As the number of spam complaints rises, so does the likelihood that email service providers (ESPs) like Gmail will automatically send your email to spam - even to customers who subscribed! - meaning fewer eyes on your content, and thus fewer sales.

  • Increase your engagement rate. When people opt-in to your list, they know your email is coming, and they’re more likely to open it and follow links and calls-to-action (CTAs). This boosts engagement metrics like open rate and click-through rate (CTR), which improves the likelihood that ESPs will sort your email into readers’ primary inbox.

  • Boost conversions. Again, when people are expecting your email, they’re more likely to engage with its content–meaning more people are converting from ‘reader’ to ‘paying customer.’

  • Save money. Because lists built with opt-in are shorter, they’re also less costly to host in email marketing platforms, which often charge you by the number of contacts you send emails to.

  • Build your list. Subscribers who want to hear from you are more likely to enjoy your content. And when people enjoy content, they often want to share it with others. This is a completely organic, free way to grow your list!

How Do I Get Leads To Opt In?

There are several strategies for getting marketing leads to opt in. You can include a newsletter sign-up form on your website, place a “Join our email list” checkbox in your checkout module, or provide valuable content behind a content gate that requires an email address to access.

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

Here are a few more expert opt-in strategies for asking a visitor to opt in with their email address (and because you are offering them something of value, they will be happy to do it!):

  • Embed a relevant quiz on your homepage

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)
  • Offer a downloadable asset or guide

  • Host a webinar that requires attendee registration

  • Install a chatbot in the lower right-hand corner that helps users find useful content

Opt-in Email Marketing: Best Practices

Do you want an inbound marketing strategy that will increase your conversion rate? If the answer is “Yes,” then you need to understand how to implement a solid email opt-in strategy–and you can do so with the following best practices.

Managing communication preferences

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

The chief appeal of opt-in for email marketing is consent. User permission keeps your contact list filled with people excited to receive your outreach. That’s why you need a place where users can either unsubscribe from emails or choose what type of subscription level they are enrolled in.

We recommend giving your contacts the option to manage the frequency of communication they receive. This will minimize email opt-outs by offering an alternative option. Some subscribers may want fewer emails cluttering their inbox, but don’t want to stop hearing from you altogether.

Sign-up form length

Nothing turns away a good prospect quicker than lengthy forms (or just asking for too much in general). When asking for information, keep your forms as simple as possible. You do not want people to have to scroll on forever, or have a million different text boxes to fill out. All you really need in order to send an email is someone’s email address. You can always ask for more info later.

Double opt-in strategy

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

A double opt-in strategy offers an additional step where a subscriber verifies that they’d like to receive your outreach via a follow-up email confirmation. Not all businesses choose to integrate double opt-in, but those that do have much higher-quality leads in their database.

If growing your mailing list is the number one priority, single opt-in is best practice. That said, double opt-in can be the best practice when you’re operating in a country with stringent email marketing regulations. If you want to learn more about whether single or double opt-in is best for you, read this super helpful resource.

A/B testing sign-up forms

Don’t leave A/B testing out of your marketing strategy! This applies to opt-in email marketing, too. Test different opt-in forms, sign-up incentives, and messaging to determine what your audience responds to most.

What Is Opt-out Email Marketing?

Opt-out email marketing is when a company sends promotional emails to a massive list of contacts who haven’t provided explicit permission. Sure, recipients have the option to unsubscribe from future emails, but the overwhelming volume of emails sitting in your inbox right now can probably tell you how people tend to feel about this type of outreach.

The primary benefit of opt-out email marketing is the sheer quantity of potential customers a business can reach. However, this also leads to high unsubscribe rates, high spam reports, damage to sender reputation and deliverability. For this reason, I only recommended this strategy for larger companies who can survive those negative metrics.

Is Opt-in Required for Email Marketing? Is Cold Emailing Illegal?

No, opt-in is not required for email marketing. However, it is a highly recommended marketing strategy. Cold emailing is legal in the U.S. as long as it complies with your local anti-spam laws and does not violate CAN-SPAM Act compliance. How do you comply with CAN-SPAM?

  • Don’t use false information or misleading subject lines.

  • Identify your email as an advertisement.

  • Ensure contacts have an easy way to opt out of future emails.

  • Do not email opted-out contacts.

  • Tell recipients where you are located with a valid postal address.

  • Ensure any companies working on your behalf are complying with CAN-SPAM guidelines.

In general, as long as you follow these requirements, no opt-in is required. However, cold email strategies are risky. Each email sent in violation can stick you with more than $50,000 in penalties!

That’s why we strongly recommend utilizing an opt-in email strategy. Plus, your contacts will be happier seeing an email from you, you’ll get fewer spam reports, unsubscribes, and email bounces. These factors increase your email deliverability and inbox placement rate, which will get you better email results in the long run.

Opt-in To beehiiv

Are you ready to integrate email opt-in best practices into your marketing strategy? In that case, you’ll need a powerful website hosting platform and email marketing service to successfully acquire opt-ins and high-quality marketing leads.

A platform like beehiiv gives you, as the marketing expert, the power to choose either single opt-in or double opt-in. Work with beehiiv, and you can build a first-class newsletter tailored to your unique needs and goals, build a valuable contact database, and get the KPIs you deserve!

Email Marketing Opt-In (Best Practices For 2023)

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