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12 ways to optimise your marketing opt-in process

Wednesday 5 December 2018 Customer ExperienceData Insight & AnalyticsDigital Consultancy


David Sealey's picture
By David Sealey

One of the common concerns raised by direct marketers in light of GDPR, was the negative impact it would have on the contactable database. In an extreme case, one company went as far as to delete its entire customer database. Other brands attempted to re-consent their opted-in customers which saw opted-in database sizes being decimated.

Given that there was significant worry about the size of the database, I’m surprised at the lack of conversation happening about optimising opt-in rates. Opted-in customers can have a far greater lifetime value than those who have failed to give marketing consent.

Here are some ideas to begin optimising opt-in rates for marketing:


  1. Track opt-in rate as a KPI – note this isn’t the total size of the opted-in base, but the percentage of opt-ins that you could get against those who did.
  1. Also track the overall opt-in percentage of your database – this metric may move far more slowly particularly when there may be a large opted-out base of customers.
  1. A/B/n test marketing opt-in messages – testing the wording, opt-in mechanism, colour and placement.
  1. Make use of interstitial pages or modal boxes – I’ve seen modal boxes that open when a registration page is completed achieve opt-in rates of 80%.
  1. Don’t ask for all permissions in one go – consider what channel is most important and only ask for this in the first instance.
  1. Don’t ask for consent again if the customer has already given consent – for example, on prize-draw forms there’s no need to re-request marketing opt-in if the customer has already provided consent.
  1. Reconsider the opt-in proposition – what will the customer get for opting-in? What’s it in for them?
  1. Design and implement performance focussed welcome and activation customer journeys – ones that confirm your proposition and reassure the customer that it was the right idea to opt-in.
  1. Be honest and transparent – there’s no need to trick customers into providing consent, in the long-term this won’t deliver the right rewards for your business.
  1. Invest in your preference centre – enabling customers to manage down preferences or take-a-break from communications.
  1. Create really good, personalised marketing communications – make use of the data that the customer has given you and value their consent by providing the type of marketing that you’d be personally happy to receive.
  1. Focus on digital acquisition - make sure your digital acquisition efforts are focussed on acquiring new customers to registrations and opt-in. Five Tips to Optimise your Affiliate Marketing.


These ideas are relatively easy to implement and shouldn’t take long to prove a positive ROI, provided that you are able to track the added value of more opted-in customers. For instance, one of my clients found that opted-in customers spent 20% more per annum.

What am I missing from this list on optimising opt-in for marketing? Are there any things you’ve tried that have worked?

Should you need any help with optimising customer acquisition and making the most of your opted-in customers, please get in touch

Opted-in customers can have a far greater lifetime value than those who have failed to give consent. David Sealey explains his 12 tips for optimising marketing opt-ins.

12 ways to optimise your marketing opt-in process