It’s one of the oldest clichés in the book, and one of the most persistent: parents who assume everyone else will share an equally enraptured fascination with the accomplishments of their toddlers. As if no other child in the history of mankind has ever taken his or her first step! Now, in a post at the Email Marketing Reports blog, Mark Brownlow discusses how misguided email marketers use a similar, flawed assumption when arguing the merits of opt-out email subscriptions.

“Every proponent of opt-out I’ve ever talked to overestimates the value and relevancy of their email,” he says. “Every single one was convinced that their product or service was so good that people would be grateful to hear about it.”

He illustrates their error with results from a survey that asked, “On a scale of 1-10, how relevant and valuable is this opt-out email?” Not unsurprisingly, senders gave a ringing endorsement of 9.5; recipients, however, gave the email’s relevance and value a stingy 0.5, and ISPs, meanwhile, were even less generous.

The lesson for marketers here? You can try to convince yourself that an opt-out program will work—and perhaps, in certain ways, it will. But opt-in is still the best bet to deliver better results, more reliably.

Stick with the opt-in option. Why? Because your subscribers know best. “However much data you may have,” says Brownlow, “you cannot know enough to accurately guess what I’m interested in.”

Source: Email Marketing Reports.