By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Today I encountered something I had never seen before. I’ll call it a “double opt-out” process.
More common is the double opt-in process, which requires a two-step procedure to be added to an email list. The first step is to submit your information to an online form. Since anyone can add anybody’s information, the second step requires you to confirm your subscription by clicking on a link to an email that is subsequently sent to you. This insures that no one is inappropriately or maliciously signing you up for unwanted emails.
In my case, I had received an email—to a list I had never subscribed to—and clicked on the link to be removed. This took me to a page to be added to their “do-not-email” list. When I selected that option, I was told I would be sent an email message to confirm my intent to be removed. Hence a “double opt-out” process.
There is no need for this, since both steps require me to proactively take action to an email that was sent to me. Outside of someone hacking my email account, there is no way that anyone could inappropriately or maliciously unsubscribe me, so this “double opt-out” process is no more than a means to limit the number of unsubscribes.
Although I am irritated by the “double op-out” process, it is not as infuriating as email messages that contain no “opt-out” process at all. Aside from spam, I see this on many emails originating from other countries—and from too many PR firms. Shame on you; you should know better. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also legally required.