What is Opt-Out?

What is Out-Out? Opt-out is a specific instruction customers give to marketers asking them to refrain from sending merchandise, emails, texts or other kinds of communications and offers. By opting-out, the customer unsubscribes from websites, groups, memberships or subscription services.

Customers who opt-out are not simply considered inactive because the customer takes a decisive action in manually unsubscribing. This can take the form of a check mark somewhere on an an email or website page with language similar to, “click here to unsubscribe”. Customers can opt out from text messages by replying STOP.

How Opt-Out Works

  1. It's permission-based

    For customers, to opt-in gives permission and opt-out takes that permission away. Because of the prevalence of spam as well as concerns over third party lists; customers should know that they can always opt-out from a marketer’s communications. Opt-out language on websites, emails and in texts puts customers in control of what kinds of communications, if any, they receive from a marketer, gym, group or other kind of business. It’s a simple process. Customers check a box on an email or website somewhere on the page (usually in the fine print) where the language mentions ” unsubscribe” or “click here to opt out of further emails”. To opt out from receiving texts, the customer texts back, STOP. Businesses who want to check their opt-out metrics can log into a portal and click a link in a drop down menu showing the list of customers who opted-out. Sometimes the opt-out list is broken down between email and text customers.

  2. It happens for different reasons

    Customers want a say in what kinds of communications and offers they receive and how often they receive them. When any number of factors change after a customer opts-in, there’s always a way to opt- out. One common customer complaint is communication overkill. That is, marketers send too many messages or messages with offers that aren’t relevant to the customer. Marketers who pick the wrong times to send out a text or email message can irritate a customer. And, quite frankly, who wants to take an action too early or too late in the day? Some emails or texts may contain mixed messages that customers simply don’t want to take the time to decipher. If customers have to figure out what the marketer is offering, that could lead to low response rates with opt-out metrics.

  3. It may not be personal

    When a customer opts-out, it may simply be due to a change in circumstances. Some customers opt out because they may no longer work near the business sending the offers. A customer may have actually relocated out of the area altogether. Lots of customers are so overwhelmed by email and text messages, that they lose more important messages due to overcrowding. Just like a form of spring cleaning, customers may decide to de-clutter an overactive mailbox by opting-out.

Why Opt-Out Matters

  1. It shows credibility

    Businesses that are transparent display good business practices. Part of that includes having clear messaging. When customers understand all their options, businesses earn credibility.

  2. It respects customer privacy

    Too many messages from a marketer may violate a customer’s privacy. In fact, Canada has some of the toughest email restrictions and penalties in the world. Companies who bombard their customers with messages end up with high spam reports and possibly, other penalties.

  3. It can maintain a customer relationship

    Marketers who quickly honor opt-out requests can stay on good terms with customers. If customers opt out because of circumstances outside of their control, as sometimes occurs, customers may still appreciate the company’s products or services. With quick action on an opt-out request, a customer may find other ways to engage with a brand and even opt back in at a later date.