The term opt-in is used in permission marketing. It refers to the choice given to customers on whether to proceed to the next step of the advertising or purchasing process that has been set up by businesses.
When a customer decides to opt-in (most often to a newsletter or some other campaign), it signals agreement to the terms and conditions stipulated in whatever process will result from that choice. Examples of situations wherein customers have the opt-in option are signing up to receive emails, sample products, and promotional offers.
The opposite of opt-in is the opt-out. With the opt-out the business assumes that the customer agrees to going on with the process, whether that means receive promotional offers or availing of a service, unless the customer explicit asks not to take part in the process.
Opt-ins and opt-outs are very common in internet marketing. They are usually done by checking or unchecking (depending on whether it is opt-in or out) a box. Other ways that customers can opt-in is by filling out an online form, sending an email, or calling the company’s hotline.
Opt-ins are often viewed by both marketers and their customers to be the better marketing model since customers do not get deluged with offers they don’t want in the first place. This is also good for the marketers because it means better conversion rates since the people receiving offers are already interested in the product or service being sold.