The Great Email Debate – Topic #1 – The Opt-In Box: Checked or Un-Checked

At last week’s Email Evolution Conference, the Great Email Debate sparked a ton of conversation.

We’d like everyone to have the opportunity to weigh-in on the three topics we established as best practices. This week, vote on the first topic, the opt-in box: checked or un-checked, and post your comments here.

Next week we’ll tackle single opt-in or double opt-in and the following week we’ll wrap up the debate with a question about keeping or deleting inactives.

6 thoughts on “The Great Email Debate – Topic #1 – The Opt-In Box: Checked or Un-Checked

  1. If you leave it checked you are telling your user that you think they are too dumb to opt-in himself. People aren’t dumb. Why would you want to "slide" something past a user? They won’t interact with your email and isn’t that the point?

    We should be trying to get people who are interested in receiving our emails and look forward to them by checking the box to opt-in.

  2. As a person with a revenue and acquisition target to make, I vote checked.

    As a professional email marketer knowing darn well what the best thing to do, I vote unchecked.

    Not only does it depend, but it matters what side of the fence you are on.

  3. It depends….

    If you have a subscription box on a page and someone puts their email address in it, do they know that they’re subscribing?

    And then if you resolve that box to a page asking for more information (Name, etc.) does the subscriber really need to check a box that states that they want to subscribe after they already hit a submit button requesting that they be subscribed? That’s just silly.

    What about "existing business relationships"?

    I’m beginning to think that this is becoming a battle of personal preferences that doesn’t take the unique businesses and models into consideration….

  4. I hate to fill out a form that has the email subscribe box already checked. It feels like the site owners are trying to sneak it past me.

    Like a seminar sign up with the newsletter box pre-checked. People just tag it on in the hope you’ll be too lazy to un-check or not notice until you start getting unwanted email.

    Though in the situation John describes above there is no need to ask twice as they have just opted in 2 seconds ago. I don’t see that you need to have another checkbox on the data collection page at all…

  5. Though I argued for leaving the box unchecked at the EEC during The Great Email Debate, I still think that the answer to (almost) all email marketing questions *has* to be, "it depends –

    While seemingly an easy answer, an easy way out, it really truly does depend. You have to look at situations independent of the masses.

    Andrew (above) may have said it best.


    DJ Waldow
    Director of Best Practices & Deliverability at Bronto

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