In an article on Clickz about building an opt-in email list, Jeanne Jennings states that if you must append, get an explicit opt-in. A negative option opt-out may be enticing, but if you want results, this isn't the shortcut it may seem.
Email appending is the process of taking your existing customer list and "matching" email addresses to it from a larger (third party) database. In this article Jeanne states that there are two flavors of permission-based append:
- Negative option opt-out. This is the more common approach. The vendor handling the match sends an e-mail to the matched e-mail addresses, asking recipients to respond if they don't want to receive e-mail from your organization. Good news: opt-outs are usually very low. Bad news: these e-mail addresses are often non-responsive. So you get the e-mail addresses (great if you're compensated on growth) but not necessarily the response (bad if you're compensated on results).
- Explicit opt-in. Either the match vendor or your organization sends one or more e-mail messages asking recipients to respond if they want to receive e-mail from you. This is true opt-in. Good news: these e-mail addresses have shown to respond on par with other opt-in names. Bad news: I usually estimate a 25 percent response rate, max. You'll have a smaller list, but a more engaged readership will read and respond to your e-mail.