Single Opt-in ILLEGAL?!

38 replies
So I was looking for Single opt-in plugins, and I was asking some wordpress plugin customer service people about that option before I bought their service.

I received an email reply today from one of them and here it is: (Names edited for obvious reasons

"On 31 December 2012 18:11, Auction Debt Eliminator <admin@AuctionDebtEliminator.com> wrote:
Subject: Premium Option Question

Message Body:
Does your premium service have the option for a single opt-in?

Spanks!

Hi Auction Debt Eliminator,
No it doesn't. Single opt-in's are technically illegal in most countries.
Kind Regards
-Wordpress Plugin Lady"

So, my question is - is Wordpress Plugin Lady (WPL) right?
#illegal #optin #single
  • Profile picture of the author zannix
    what the hell lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    I'd ask what countries.
    I would ask what planet!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Falzone
    I don't think so.

    Single opt-in usage hasn't been used the wrong way, at least not in U.S.A's marketing, maybe they say that just because some countries might have several restrinctions, but I think there's still something that worth giving it a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
    It's definitely legal.

    If it wasn't do you think Aweber and other giants would let you do single opt-in...with their butts on the line?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Falzone
      Originally Posted by Backlinko View Post

      It's definitely legal.

      If it wasn't do you think Aweber and other giants would let you do single opt-in...with their butts on the line?
      I'm utterly skeptical about that. . .

      I have been marketing with autoresponders such as Aweber, Getresponse, and many many other ones, but I don't remember the last time I saw one of them that claims single opt-ins are illegal as I know in person even some staff guys and I know with how much money Aweber plays with. . .

      I think there's no safer proof than that to arrive at the conclusion that what you heard about single opt-ins marked as illegal it's totally wrong and you can stay sure about that!

      Hope it helps,

      Giuseppe.
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    • Profile picture of the author BeauJustin
      The confusion with the opt-in requirements comes from a law passed in the UK:
      Section 3c of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive)
      Regulations of 2003.

      Section 3c reads:
      (3) A person may send or instigate the sending of electronic mail for the purposes of direct marketing where-
      (c) the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing (free of charge except for the costs of the transmission
      of the refusal) the use of his contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details
      were initially collected, and where he did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent
      communication.


      This would seem to imply that a means of refusal refers to the double opt-in
      email that follows upon subscription request.

      I could argue that the means of refusal would be not entering your email
      address and hitting the send button, since we're trying to do everything out
      front anyway.

      I've read the whole law it seems to be geared toward those who use
      unscrupulous methods like co-registrations, email selling/sharing, and
      a whole host of other practices that make giving your email address
      perilous.

      Since the single opt-in has never been tested in court, I think you're probably
      safe as long as you do everything up front, and out in the open.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Falzone
        Originally Posted by BeauJustin View Post

        The confusion with the opt-in requirements comes from a law passed in the UK:
        Section 3c of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive)
        Regulations of 2003.

        Section 3c reads:
        (3) A person may send or instigate the sending of electronic mail for the purposes of direct marketing where-
        (c) the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing (free of charge except for the costs of the transmission
        of the refusal) the use of his contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details
        were initially collected, and where he did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent
        communication.


        This would seem to imply that a means of refusal refers to the double opt-in
        email that follows upon subscription request.

        I could argue that the means of refusal would be not entering your email
        address and hitting the send button, since we're trying to do everything out
        front anyway.

        I've read the whole law it seems to be geared toward those who use
        unscrupulous methods like co-registrations, email selling/sharing, and
        a whole host of other practices that make giving your email address
        perilous.

        Since the single opt-in has never been tested in court, I think you're probably
        safe as long as you do everything up front, and out in the open.
        In fact what you did post says that a single opt-in form is legal UNTIL it has a way for the user to get unsubscribed by its specific list, but of course that means as well people who do thing the unethical way, might go at court and getting jailed as well.

        I think there is nothing to get worried about, if what you are planning for is just an honest business in which people get subscribed by their own will and not by email sharing and such black hat ways.

        To your success.

        Giuseppe
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      • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
        Originally Posted by BeauJustin View Post

        The confusion with the opt-in requirements comes from a law passed in the UK:
        Section 3c of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive)
        Regulations of 2003.

        Section 3c reads:
        (3) A person may send or instigate the sending of electronic mail for the purposes of direct marketing where-
        (c) the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing (free of charge except for the costs of the transmission
        of the refusal) the use of his contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details
        were initially collected, and where he did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent
        communication.


        This would seem to imply that a means of refusal refers to the double opt-in
        email that follows upon subscription request.

        I could argue that the means of refusal would be not entering your email
        address and hitting the send button, since we're trying to do everything out
        front anyway.

        I've read the whole law it seems to be geared toward those who use
        unscrupulous methods like co-registrations, email selling/sharing, and
        a whole host of other practices that make giving your email address
        perilous.

        Since the single opt-in has never been tested in court, I think you're probably
        safe as long as you do everything up front, and out in the open.
        That just means you need a visible working unsubscribe method with each email .. something I have noticed several warriors are starting to leave out.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeff Falzone
          Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

          That just means you need a visible working unsubscribe method with each email .. something I have noticed several warriors are starting to leave out.
          It's such a stupid way! I would never do so, since by leaving out an unsubscribing button, people might create complaints to aweber and what about if aweber bans your account?!?!?!

          That would be a serious problem, then why doing thing the wrong way if things sooner or later will make you pay your arrogant manner? (of course I'm talking by an overall vision and not about you :p )

          Giuseppe.
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          • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
            Originally Posted by Zack93 View Post

            It's such a stupid way! I would never do so, since by leaving out an unsubscribing button, people might create complaints to aweber and what about if aweber bans your account?!?!?!

            That would be a serious problem, then why doing thing the wrong way if things sooner or later will make you pay your arrogant manner? (of course I'm talking by an overall vision and not about you :p )

            Giuseppe.
            I agree. As I only do email marketing i really hate to hit the spam button on someone but have several times in the last month as I get emails from warriors I haven't even signed up with and their unsub link is either broken or non existent.
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Let's put it this way. When it comes to the law, WP Plugin Lady wouldn't know her hindquarters from a hole in the ground.

              If single opt-in really were illegal, then sites either run by or supported/endorsed by several governments are guilty. Including the US Internal Revenue Service and the tourism boards of several countries.
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              • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                Let's put it this way. When it comes to the law, WP Plugin Lady wouldn't know her hindquarters from a hole in the ground.

                If single opt-in really were illegal, then sites either run by or supported/endorsed by several governments are guilty. Including the US Internal Revenue Service and the tourism boards of several countries.
                The irs is allowed to do a lot of things that others would be thrown in jail for, etc....

                And other countries? a lot would be given tolerance anyway.

                Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
        Originally Posted by BeauJustin View Post


        Section 3c reads:
        (3) A person may send or instigate the sending of electronic mail for the purposes of direct marketing where-
        (c) the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing (free of charge except for the costs of the transmission
        of the refusal) the use of his contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details
        were initially collected, and where he did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent
        communication.


        ... the means of refusal would be not entering your email address and hitting the send button....
        Yep, seems like a no brainer. But noticing the obvious seems to escape many on the Internet. Or, maybe the Internet just makes it easier to see those whose brains have been eaten by zombies.

        .
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    • Profile picture of the author robestrong
      I always thought the only real benefit of a double optin was less bounces.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gengis
    It's 100% Legal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

    So, my question is - is Wordpress Plugin Lady (WPL) right?
    No, of course not - it's absolute nonsense. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
    This is another case of a person confusing law with best practice. This is not a new issue and I run into it often.



    A valid, working unsubscribe link is the law under CAN-SPAM and most other anti-spam laws however as Troy points out.

    Regards,
    jim
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    • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
      Originally Posted by JimDucharme View Post

      This is another case of a person confusing law with best practice.



      Regards,
      jim
      And it is rumored Jim knows at least three things about email marketing and autoresponders!
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  • Profile picture of the author Devin X
    Banned
    When in doubt, consult a lawyer.
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  • What is even more interesting, is that they INTEGRATE with aweber!

    Soooooooooo.

    My 'WTH-ometer' is off the charts with this one.
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    • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      What is even more interesting, is that they INTEGRATE with aweber!

      Soooooooooo.

      My 'WTH-ometer' is off the charts with this one.
      Everyone is an expert when it comes to anti-spam stuff, cuz everyone has an opinion.

      I was once in Times Square for a conference with two other email marketers, a panhandler approached us and started doing the old pitch. He asked us what we did for a living and we told him we were email marketers...he didn't miss a beat with his reply: "Oh, you're the guy's who send me spam!"

      I had this image of a bunch of guys of no fixed addresses hunched over PCs in a public library cursing me...

      Regards,
      jim
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      • A panhandler with a computer, eh?

        Originally Posted by JimDucharme View Post

        Everyone is an expert when it comes to anti-spam stuff, cuz everyone has an opinion.

        I was once in Times Square for a conference with a two other email marketers, a panhandler approached us and started doing the old pitch. He asked us what we did for a living and we told him we were email marketers...he didn't miss a beat with his reply: "Oh, you're the guy's who send me spam!"

        I had this image of a bunch of guys of no fixed addresses in a public library cursing me...

        Regards,
        jim
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        • Profile picture of the author JimDucharme
          Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

          A panhandler with a computer, eh?
          If it weren't for the supreme law that one should never explain a joke...I would mention that this was the whole reason for the story being so funny...

          There's still rum and egg nog left...I'll be back later.

          Regards,
          jim

          Edit: Of course I failed to consider the story just not being funny at all .
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    I suspect that WP Plug In Lady has got a little confused about the Can The Spam legislation. Generally, double opt in is used as a way to demonstrate compliance with that law as subscribers have to not only sign up, but click the link to agree to receiving emails. Because that has become a generally accepted method, I suspect she believes that is the way things have to be.

    One obvious exception is when people have filled in a paper form first. One of my restaurant clients hands out forms asking for a customer's name and email if they want to join the mailing list. Double opt-in would make no sense, as the customer would receive a random confirmation email when we add their email address to the list.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    She said TECHNICALLY illegal! There IS a reason why so many today insist you CONFIRM before they send stuff to you. A message "from you" does NOT mean that you sent them a message! A message confirming THEIRS essentially DOES!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    Hilarious - who are these people?

    Single opt-in illegal? What happens if I used it? Would I get arrested - maybe in another country?
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by intergen View Post

      Hilarious - who are these people?

      Single opt-in illegal? What happens if I used it? Would I get arrested - maybe in another country?
      There are different levels of illegality. There might be like FIVE, in the US, before you get to a misdemeaner that MIGHT get you locked up. MIGHT! The higher ones ALSO might only present a good chance of being locked up.

      But TECHNICALLY illegal means only that it may BORDER on being illegal. And that would likely be considered an infraction at best. That means anything from being ignored to a minor fine.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author footballfreak
    Absolutely not illegal. Need to check the facts thouroughly.
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  • Profile picture of the author BeauJustin
    On a separate note. I've noticed that my single opt-in lists have a lower rate of delivery
    than my double opt-ins. Don't know why that is, but it happens with both Aweber and
    Sendgrid, and it's usually about a 5-20% difference consistently. It's never > or = to.

    My Aweber rep doesn't have a clue why.

    I speculate that it's because double opt-in confirmation may or may not end up in the
    trash, either way the subscriber takes a little extra action to add me to a white list.
    Pure speculation though. I only use single opt when it make sense to do so.
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  • I'm seriously considering emailing that lady the link to this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      I'm seriously considering emailing that lady the link to this thread.
      That would be illegal unless all thread participants confirmed their acceptance. The Thread Man told me.
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      • Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

        That would be illegal unless all thread participants confirmed their acceptance. The Thread Man told me.
        Well,

        I decided against it anyway.

        I figured WP plugin lady, if she wanted to, could post some details of me on this thread and some more information if she was really mad. Plus, I already use some of their company's products, and I didn't want to get banned from them.

        I saw many ways the plan would backfire...


        So I decided against it.
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  • Profile picture of the author leoenoch
    I think the illegal one is zero opt in

    I realized that some marketer are using email that makes it look like you have opt in to their list where in reality you have not.

    This is something quite irritating for me and i think if there is a law that can enforce and punish these marketers, i am all out to support it.

    As for single opt in, the fact that the person type in their email, it alone give you the permission, of course they should be able to unsubscribe easily if they think that they have been wrongly email.

    For me both single and double has their purpose. Single is for acquiring prospect is great, because you give yourself more exposure. However when iam running an event, i definitely want a double opt in to ensure attendance rate to my events.

    Hope my post bring some thought into this topic
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    • Profile picture of the author James Campbell
      Originally Posted by leoenoch View Post

      I think the illegal one is zero opt in

      I realized that some marketer are using email that makes it look like you have opt in to their list where in reality you have not.

      This is something quite irritating for me and i think if there is a law that can enforce and punish these marketers, i am all out to support it.

      As for single opt in, the fact that the person type in their email, it alone give you the permission, of course they should be able to unsubscribe easily if they think that they have been wrongly email.

      For me both single and double has their purpose. Single is for acquiring prospect is great, because you give yourself more exposure. However when iam running an event, i definitely want a double opt in to ensure attendance rate to my events.

      Hope my post bring some thought into this topic
      Actually you can purchase leads and email them as long as you follow the regulations set-out by CANSPAM. You do have to be careful for supression lists as those can and will get you in pretty deep legal trouble if the receiver chooses to go after you.

      Mailing leads that are purchase or rented is a perfectly acceptable practice within CANSPAM and is a practice that is common amongst MANY large companies (Bank of America being one of the most well known).

      So many people doing the blind leading the blind on this forum in regards to email marketing.

      Whether you feel something is "spam" or not, doesn't mean it is. Singl-optin is not illegal. Confirmed-optin is not illegal AND no-optin is not illegal (at least in the US, Canada and UK).
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
        Originally Posted by BeauJustin View Post

        On a separate note. I've noticed that my single opt-in lists have a lower rate of delivery
        than my double opt-ins. Don't know why that is, but it happens with both Aweber and Sendgrid, and it's usually about a 5-20% difference consistently.
        take a look at the source for those messages.. with double opt-in, you sometimes will see header info identifying it as such (aweber adds X-Verification: Verified by 66.213.29.2).. maybe some mail clients use this when filtering/sorting?

        Originally Posted by leoenoch View Post

        I think the illegal one is zero opt in
        In the US, CAN-SPAM does not require ANY opt-in , just an easy/timely opt-out.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Single optin is illegal? Now I've heard everything...

    Double optin was only ever something created by the autoresponder companies to help improve their deliverability rate -- nothing more. It was never something that was brought in because of the law.

    Whoever told the OP this clearly has little idea about email marketing. Run a mile OP!
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