Opt-out refers to the various ways for people to block advertisements and promotional material.
This term may also refer to an email or notification sent that already assumes the inclusion of the recipient, unless later specified.
Opting out is sometimes used interchangeably with unsubscribing. These are two similar concepts in the sense that they both indicate a recipient’s desire to be removed from an advertisement tracking list. However, to unsubscribe from something assumes that a subscription was made in the first place and will have to be terminated, whereas opting out of something suggests that there was never any intention of subscribing.
This term is often used in the spheres of direct marketing and internet marketing. In certain territories, it is possible to have one’s number registered so that the number of calls from telemarketers is limited.
Emails, on the other hand, may contain a link for recipients to click on, should they decide not to receive further emails. However, since clicking on the link only confirms that one’s email address is connected to an active account, this may trigger the receipt of even more advertisements or spam. As such, opting out is not always effective in removing the possibility of receiving unwanted ads and promotions.
There are both individual and “global” opt-out schemes. Global schemes, which should be available for all kinds of promotional notifications, are not always effective, either. Sometimes, customers are not aware of their existence, and even if they are, companies are not always able to update their telemarketing lists to ensure that the information is current. As such, the implementation of such a scheme is no always successful.