What Does Opting In or Out from Newsletters Mean?

What Are the Consequences of Opting In or Opting Out?

Opting in to subscriptions.
Should You Be Opting In or Opting Out to Sweepstakes Newsletters?. Image (c) PeterAustin / Getty Images

What Does Opting In to Newsletters Mean?

Have you heard a lot of talk about opting in or opting out from companies' newsletters, but aren't sure what it means? Are you wondering which option you should choose if you don't want to receive emails?

Answer: Many companies use sweepstakes to entice more people to sign up for their company newsletters. In fact, building up their email list is one of the most common reasons why companies run sweepstakes.

In some cases, you have to agree to receive emails if you want to enter the sweepstakes. However, in most cases, sweepstakes sponsors will give entrants the choice of signing up to receive more information from the company or not. The choice you'll make is called opting in or out.

  • If you agree to receive newsletters, you'll opt-in to receive additional information.
  • If you would prefer not to receive information by email, you'll opt-out from subscribing.

Some sweepstakes will give you the opportunity to opt in or out to several different types of information. For example, they might give you the chance to opt into their in-house email newsletter as well as information from other companies that they recommend. Others might offer a variety of newsletters that you can receive, or you can pick whether you'd like to receive emails every day or if you'd prefer a weekly digest.

It's worth taking the time to read through your options carefully.

Some newsletters are very valuable, and can help you find new sweepstakes more quickly or provide other interesting information. It's also important to encourage companies to run sweepstakes by helping them fulfill their goals when possible (see How to Be a Courteous Sweeper for other ways to encourage companies to hold more giveaways).

But if you don't want to receive the information, accidentally opting in can result in quite a lot of unwanted email.

What Can You Do If You Change Your Mind After Opting In?

If you don't enjoy the newsletters you are receiving, you can always unsubscribe. Under the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, businesses must give consumers an easy way to opt out of receiving additional emails, and they must abide by the consumers' decision. 

There are a couple of issues you should think about before unsubscribing, though, to make sure that you don't accidentally disqualify yourself from winning. See How to Safely Unsubscribe from Sweepstakes Emails for more information.

Will Opting Out of Newsletters Affect My Chances of Winning Sweepstakes?

Whether you opt in or not does not affect your chances of winning, unless signing up for the newsletter is a condition of entry. Companies cannot show preference to entrants just for agreeing to receive an optional newsletter.