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A Break-up Letter to Terrible Opt-in Processes

Dear forced opt-in process,

We need to break up. I just feel like I don’t see us together long term and my inbox just can’t take this kind of behavior anymore. You forced me to opt in by checking “I have read the terms and conditions,” but hid your opt in somewhere in that giant wall of legal text that you knew I’d never read. You pre-checked opt-in boxes and hoped I wouldn’t un-check them. You sometimes won’t even give me a choice if I want to receive marketing email at all (see the image below)!


I’ll always have a special place in my heart for you, and maybe we can still be friends after this. At times, our relationship felt like it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I wasn’t too annoyed about you emailing me every single day about something I was never interested in to begin with. It was a fun game, deleting all those emails from my inbox as soon as I received them. But lately, I’ve gotten tired of it, I don’t have time for this relationship anymore. It pains me, but our love has faded away. I miss my clean inbox and I miss receiving mail I actually want. I really just need to find myself right now, you know? Can’t you understand that?

If I wanted us to be together, I would have told you instead of being forced into an unwanted email relationship. Forced opt-in process, you just aren’t my type.

Is there hope for us to rekindle the relationship? Maybe, if you completely change who you are, and really make an effort. You just need some time to work on yourself, and that’s okay. Ask me if I’m interested in you. Give me the option to tell you that you’re overwhelming me with your attention. Maybe learn about my likes and dislikes before you email me, like my friend Michael does below. Let me tell you what I like and don’t like and how often I want to see your emails, before you assume I want to hear about everything you’re selling.


True, everything about you is great on paper. You get a ton of new potential leads to mass email. Sure, most of them will probably never open or interact with your email or buy your product, but that’s okay, right? Open rates and click-through rates aren’t that important to you, I’m sure. If they were, you’d have asked me to opt in instead of forcing your marketing on me.

I’m going to be honest and tell you now, I just don’t have that spark and it’s entirely your fault for not asking me if I was interested. I can’t force myself to feel something for you, and you can’t force me to do that either, no matter how much mail you send me.

I don’t love you, forced opt-in process. It’s not me, it’s you….We’re just on two different pages of two different books. You’re stuck in the past of batch-and-blast email marketing, and I’m looking to the future. I’m settling for you, and I know I can do so much better. I hope that you’re able to move on, and meet someone who will love you the way you deserve to be loved. Maybe we can still be friends?



P.S. If you’re still confused over how to win back your lost email recipients, like me, take a look at some of the best practices articles I’ve written about confirmed opt-ins below: