Best practices for permission-based email marketing

  • Updated

This document examines the double opt-in process, which lets you get consent from your recipients and provides documentation to prove that consent was given. Optimizely provides the best practices for putting together an opt-in mailing.

What is an initial opt-in?

With the initial opt-in, you can use a standardized procedure to obtain the permission of your recipients and verify the provided email addresses.

The address data that you provided is imported into Optimizely Campaign within the framework of the initial opt-in. An automatic system email is sent to these addresses. The recipients of this email can click the provided link to confirm their agreement to receive your newsletter. Each subscriber who gives permission in this way is added to the recipient list in Optimizely Campaign. Your recipient list will only include subscribers who have explicitly requested the newsletter.

As the sender of the newsletter, you profit from an initial opt-in because you are in possession of your recipients' consent to receive marketing communications in case of complaint.

Best practices for putting together the opt-in mailing

When composing a professional opt-in mailing, take note of the following:


Every mailing has certain content elements that your recipients will notice at first glance in their inbox. You should draft your opt-in mailings in a way that your recipients know what they are dealing with:

  • Clear sender identification (email address and sender name)
  • Clear, free of advertisements and enticingly formulated subject line
    • Example: Renew your newsletter subscription now.
    • Example: Please confirm your subscription to the new [Company] newsletter now.
  • Pre-header with additional subject line and link to online version


The content elements of your opt-in mailing should entice the recipients to click. They must be absolutely free of advertising:

  • The confirmation link must be clearly recognizable even when images are deactivated
  • Branding: logo placement at most (ideally without linking)
  • Clear formulation of the mailing objective but without the character of an advertisement
  • Best practice: It should be understandable from the text that the recipient is being asked to reconfirm the subscription to the newsletter
  • Stress the option to unsubscribe at any time in every mailing
  • 3-4 confirmation links should be placed (visible and clearly identifiable), for example within the text of the message and as a button
  • No advertising content
  • No links to social media channels
  • No unnecessary links but rather a clear focus on the confirmation link
  • Clear and enticing formulation of the confirmation link: "Yes, I want to continue to receive the newsletter."
  • Explanation of what happens if the confirmation link is not clicked
  • Reference to the source of the original subscription


Provide information about the company and data protection:

  • Full legal imprint
  • Reference to data protection
  • Link to the data protection provisions found on your homepage
  • Mention the addressee's email address in the footer