What is an opt-in process?

The opt-in procedure is an explicit consent procedure that must be confirmed by your user. The term comes from the English language and means “give permission” and is also known as the single opt-in process. The opt-in process originally comes from permission marketing and is intended to persuade the user to allow advertising contact. Permission marketing is a form of direct marketing in which the consumer gives permission to continue receiving information about products, services and offers. Very typical opt-in requests from your everyday life are, for example, the consent to the use of cookies on websites or the activation of checkboxes in online stores.

When is an opt-in necessary?

For you, an opt-in procedure becomes necessary as soon as you collect personal data on your website. This can happen, for example, in the form of cookies, contact forms or an online store. The user must be able to actively consent to the processing of his data. This has its origins in consumer protection, the General Data Protection Regulation and the Unfair Competition Act. However, the GDPR also stipulates that you may contact your customer if, for example, queries have arisen about an order, without the clarification of which the purchase contract could not be fulfilled.

What is a soft opt-in?

A soft opt-in describes the user’s temporary consent to receive information by mail. This can be, for example, an inquiry about certain products or services of your company. The user may temporarily and exclusively receive information from you on the requested topics.

Including the mail address of the interested party in the newsletter marketing is, however, not permitted according to the guidelines of the European DSGVO. The interested party must actively register for this service or give explicit consent.

What is a Confirmed Opt-In?

In the case of a confirmed opt-in, the user receives a confirmation e-mail following his consent. This e-mail confirms the processing of the data and the entry in the mailing list. The consent remains active until the user actively deletes himself from the mailing list. Advantage of the confirmed opt-in: If the user has not entered his or her e-mail address at this point, he or she can unsubscribe immediately via a link in the e-mail.

Why is the opt-out procedure not allowed under the GDPR?

The opt-out procedure is the exact opposite of an opt-in procedure. Here, the user must actively deactivate a function or actively select that he or she does not consent to the processing of the data. However, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that the opt-out procedure only applies to written advertising. According to the GDPR, the collection and use of personal data is subject to very strict guidelines. This also includes that on the Internet, consent to receive advertising may not be given by opt-out procedure. Permission to process data on websites must be actively given by the user.

Single-Opt-In vs. Double-Opt-In – what’s the difference?

The single opt-in represents the one-step procedure for consenting to the processing of personal data. According to the GDPR, the user’s permission must be active. Most website operators have solved this by ticking checkboxes.
A double opt-in is a two-step process. At the beginning, this is the same as with the single opt-in. Here, too, the user actively consents to the processing of the data. However, the user then receives another e-mail. Here, the user must again and actively click on a link to confirm his data and its processing.

Opt-in or double opt-in in email marketing?

For email marketing, both opt-in variants are permitted according to the GDPR. The procedures are the ideal solution for obtaining the consent of the leads in a legally secure manner. Double opt-in certainly seems more cumbersome, but is highly recommended due to its clarity.

Don’t think of the consent process as a marketing hurdle. They give you the chance to target your users and generate new leads.


Just contact us

  +49 9381 5829000