STUDY: Switch to opt-out would damage email marketing

6 in 10 mar­ke­ters belie­ve that a switch from the dou­ble opt-in pro­ce­du­re to an opt-out pro­ce­du­re would have a dama­ging effect on the chan­nel email mar­ke­ting. This is the con­clu­si­on of a cur­rent stu­dy by artegic AG. 72.2% belie­ve that the chan­ge to the opt-out pro­ce­du­re would have a nega­ti­ve effect on the accep­tan­ce of email as a medi­um. 76.6% view a chan­ge as nega­ti­ve for con­su­mers.

In a stu­dy of 600 mar­ke­ters and mana­ging direc­tors, online CRM con­sul­ting and tech­no­lo­gy pro­vi­der artegic AG inves­ti­ga­ted the views of com­pa­nies regar­ding the cur­rent dis­cus­sion around opt-in pro­ce­du­res in email mar­ke­ting. A clear favou­rite was the dou­ble opt-in pro­ce­du­re whe­re a reci­pi­ent con­firms his regis­tra­ti­on via a click in an email trig­ge­red by the regis­tra­ti­on. In addi­ti­on to bene­fits con­cer­ning the legal secu­ri­ty through pro­of of con­sent, this pro­ce­du­re also has a posi­ti­ve effect on the data qua­li­ty. 92% of respondents say that the dou­ble opt-in pro­ce­du­re has a posi­ti­ve effect on the address qua­li­ty in email mar­ke­ting. In total, the dou­ble opt-in pro­ce­du­re is cur­r­ent­ly used by 74.1% of the com­pa­nies sur­vey­ed. 17.3% focus on sin­gle opt-in, 8.6% even on opt-out, i.e. the regis­tra­ti­on wit­hout expli­cit con­sent with the opti­on to unre­gis­ter if desi­red. Inte­res­ting fact: Alt­hough most com­pa­nies gene­ral­ly see a chan­ge from dou­ble opt-in to opt-out as dama­ging for the medi­um email mar­ke­ting (60%) and even for the email (72.2%) and the con­su­mers (76.6%), 25.9% would like to use opt-out if the legal requi­re­ments allo­wed it. It remains unclear in how far the opt-out pro­ce­du­re alo­ne would be sui­ta­ble in email mar­ke­ting. For 41% it would be an appro­pria­te pro­ce­du­re. 45.2% howe­ver, see it as unsui­ta­ble.

“The stu­dy demons­tra­tes that most mar­ke­ters are awa­re of the effec­ts dif­fe­rent pro­ce­du­res have on cer­tain aspec­ts, such as the data qua­li­ty. Nevertheless, the fin­dings show a split pic­tu­re. Even though a lar­ge pro­por­ti­on of respondents view the switch from dou­ble opt-in to opt-out – which is cur­r­ent­ly being dis­cus­sed in Brussels –  as dama­ging for the chan­nel email mar­ke­ting, a signi­fi­cant pro­por­ti­on (41%) see it as a sui­ta­ble pro­ce­du­re”, resu­mes Ste­fan Mies, Seni­or Mar­ke­ting Mana­ger at artegic AG.

“The dou­ble opt-in pro­ce­du­re has pro­ven its­elf in prac­tice and is expec­ted by our WEB.DE and GMX users. At the same time, adver­ti­sing custo­mers can ensu­re a high address qua­li­ty. The pro­ce­du­re is the­re­fo­re an important pre-requi­si­te for high-qua­li­ty direct com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween com­pa­nies and users. We assu­me that a chan­ge would have nega­ti­ve effec­ts on the ent­i­re com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on via email, expli­citly the deli­very rate” says Ras­mus Grie­se, CEO at United Inter­net Dia­log.

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Back­ground of the rese­arch is the cur­rent deba­te around the plan­ned European Gene­ral Data Pro­tec­tion Regu­la­ti­on. It is being dis­cus­sed whe­ther the veri­fi­ca­ti­on pro­cess in digi­tal dia­lo­gue mar­ke­ting should be rela­xed from dou­ble opt-in to opt-out. The aim of the stu­dy is to inves­ti­ga­te the effec­ts of this switch. We have ques­tio­ned almost 600 mar­ke­ters. The com­ple­te stu­dy can be down­loa­ded for free at