No Opt In Required Q&A

Q: What’s an Opt In?

A: An opt in is when you give up some information about yourself — typically your email address — in exchange for receiving a future offer from a marketer.

The offer could be information such as a newsletter or an ebook, an electronic sample such as a web template or graphics, an article that you can post on your own website, or physical products such as a sample piece of chocolate or a trial size tube of sunscreen lotion.

By giving up your email address you are making a willing choice to “opt in” to a mailing list where you will receive future information and offers.

Q: Why do websites have opt ins?

A: For the most part, opt ins allow marketers to communicate with their customers and potential customers.

By having your email address, a marketer can ask you questions about what you like or dislike about their products and also what kinds of features you’d like to see in the future.

It can be a fantastic tool for doing market research and conducting focus groups.

Opt ins also allow a marketer to easily sell you related products. Many marketers use the opt in model as the core of their entire business.

Q: What kind of problems have you seen with opt ins?

A: Although this may seem “blasphemous” to most marketers who based their business model on list-building and email acquisitions, the abuses I’ve seen with opt ins is that some marketers will lure you into giving up your email address with a hyped-up freebie just to add your name to their sales offer pool.

Rather than provide you with a useful sample of their product line, you may received a very tepid eBook that the marketer probably recycled from someone else.

Once they have your email, though, you can become the target of countless sales offers — sometimes on a daily basis.

Some marketers feel this is the standard method of making money from their list and argue that if you don’t want to receive any more offers you can simply “opt out” of the list.

While this may be true, I feel that continued list abuse is what makes a site like this even more attractive. I feel that over time the continued mistreatment of lists will cause consumers to be even more wary of signing up, even if they are given the choice to opt out later.

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