by Elastic Email Feb 24, 2023

Buying a lead list is no longer effective. In fact, the laws and regulations concerning personal data collection and use are continually changing, and it can be illegal to acquire personal data this way. But even if it was legal, sending email campaigns to people who didn’t ask for them can be intrusive and annoying. Most emails sent this way end up in the spam folder or are never opened at all. This is why opt-in email marketing has quickly gained popularity in recent years. Opt-in email campaigns give your business a good start with your customers and encourage a larger email open rate.

Although building an opt-in-only email database from scratch might seem daunting, it’s worth it. This article will explain what opt-in email marketing is and how to use it.

Table of contents

What Is Opt-in Email Marketing?

Opt-in email marketing involves sending marketing materials to an email list of subscribers who specifically sign up for your content. In other words, it involves sending marketing emails to people who willingly choose to receive them.

Typically, when readers visit your site, they find an option to enter their email addresses and choose the kind of emails they want to receive. You can also choose to do what is known as double opt-in email marketing. Double opt-in means that the subscriber will receive an email with a confirmation link after subscribing. They will then need to click on this link to opt in again and confirm that they want to be included on your mailing list. With the FTC regulations concerning personal data collection and use continually changing, it’s best for your business to apply a double opt-in strategy when building your mailing list.

Benefits of Opt-in Email Marketing

Before you start setting up an opt-in email list, it’s crucial to ask yourself what’s in it for you and your business.

Higher Quality List Growth

An opt-in email list gives you confidence in the list’s quality and increases the conversion rate. One of the most challenging things for an email marketer is to stay out of the spam folder. The truth is, it’s easy to earn a permanent place there if you send emails to someone who doesn’t want to receive them.

An opt-in email list can get you a seat in the most coveted inbox priority folder. Why? Because the person willingly signed up to receive your emails. This indicates that they find the emails valuable and will not mark them as spam. And since they already like your brand, there are better chances of conversions.

It Improves Communication: You can Communicate With Your Subscribers Immediately

Building an opt-in email list gives you an instant opportunity to communicate and connect with your prospects. You can immediately say, “Hey, we’re glad you signed up; here’s a little something from us to new subscribers.” That something could be a 10% off coupon or free shipping for their first purchase. A good welcome email sequence helps build a relationship between you and the subscriber from the get-go. So when you send more emails in the future, there is little chance of getting ignored or sent to the trash bin. Additionally, a potential customer is more likely to purchase something from your business if there’s already an existing relationship.

Your Email List Can Customize Their Experience

Another great benefit of opt-in email marketing is that it allows you to customize your prospect experience.

When designing your opt-in email marketing campaign, find inspiration from free templates. Add catchy visuals and you can include an option for subscribers to pick their preferences, allowing them to opt into the specific kind of content they want to receive in their inbox. For example, you can give the subscriber an option to receive an email daily or a single round-up email once a week.

This gives the prospect the chance to control their own experience, which helps improve your brand’s image in their eyes. It also allows your company to focus on prospects differently and give more attention to subscribers most likely to convert. It's a win-win situation.

Protect Your Brand's Reputation

Believe me; no one wants to receive emails they have no interest in receiving. This is one of the reasons why the average email open rate is stuck at 21.33%. Receiving unsolicited emails can be annoying to the prospects, and this can hurt your brand’s image in their eyes.

An opt-in email marketing ensures that your emails are only sent to people who are open to receiving them. It will keep your brand professional. Once you get people to click through to your website, make sure you emphasize your business’s trustworthiness there as well. Display your terms and conditions and privacy policy clearly and highlight the security measures you employ to protect users’ data. Explaining how you’re securing cardholder data, as well as other types of personal information, will help boost your brand’s reputation even further.

Increased Email Open Rate and Reduced Bounce Rate

Your email newsletter campaigns can only be effective and increase your sales if your emails are opened in the first place.

If done right, an opt-in email list can significantly improve your email open rate and reduce your email bounce rate. You might not see the results immediately, but if you continue offering your prospects the content they want, your email KPIs will increase, and so will your revenue. Increased revenue means your company will not have cash flow shortages even when customers take a long time to pay. Unfortunately, it is common for most businesses. According to a recent survey, 70% of businesses polled reported it takes 1-6 months to get paid by a client. Taking advantage of opt-in email marketing can be just what your business needs to maintain a healthy cash flow.

It's Cost-Effective

It may not seem like it, but opt-in email marketing is one of the most inexpensive ways to market your products and services. Think about it. The prospects on the list already know (and probably like) your brand. That’s why they have voluntarily subscribed to your emails.

This and the fact that you already have permission to communicate with them gives you endless opportunities to let them know about all the products and services that might benefit or interest them. It shows that the cost of getting their permission can potentially have a high ROI.

How To Get Maximum Benefits From Your Opt-in Email Marketing List

Now that you know the value of an opt-in email list, how do you maximize these benefits? Here are some actionable tips:

Offer Value

Offering value is the bread and butter of any marketing strategy. Whether or not you can retain your opt-in subscribers and have them help you grow your list depends on what value they find in the emails. When you send emails with useful information that can help subscribers solve a pain point, they are more likely to continue reading your emails for longer.

Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader

It’s not easy to gain a customer’s trust, especially now that so much information is available on the internet. So if you want your prospects to open your emails and read the content, you need to prove you are an authority in your field. Additionally, maintain professionalism while communicating with your prospects. For example, always send emails from your company’s professional email address, not a personal one.

Engage Your Readers

Your prospects have no interest in talking to bots, so engage them. Ask for their opinions on certain matters, and encourage them to comment on various issues. They need to be heard and want to know that your brand is relatable.

Include Ways to Share

The easiest way to grow your market is through the people already engaging with your content. This applies to all areas of digital marketing, and email marketing is no exception. So when you send an email to your opt-in email list, include a share button so they can share with their network.

Divide and Conquer

Allows your readers to opt-in to only the topics they want to receive in their inbox. This way, each subscriber will receive only what interests them, lowering your email marketing cost and increasing conversions simultaneously.

Let Technology Work for You

Technology is vital across specializations, especially email marketing. So automate as much of the email process as possible. This will improve efficiency and ensure every aspect of the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Ask for Feedback and Give the People What They Want

It’s crucial to ask for feedback from your prospects. It will allow you to understand if their preferences have changed and what you can do to keep them from unsubscribing from your list. Additionally, getting customer feedback allows you to improve your products and services. For example, if lots of buyers say they would like the option of paying with cryptocurrency, you can set up and integrate a crypto wallet that will allow you to receive and store crypto payments from your customers.


Opt-in email marketing is a great way to optimize your marketing efforts and increase conversions. In fact, every business marketing online in this generation needs an effective opt-in email strategy. It’s the easiest way to keep in touch with your potential customers and keep them informed about your brand.

It also gives you a direct line to each prospective customer and helps keep you engaged with previous customers, which might encourage them to buy from you again.

About the author

Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full-time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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