Double Opt-out?

Many e-mail marketing experts recommend “Double Opt-in” as the best approach to building your e-mail marketing list. Double Opt-in means that the subscriber must respond to a confirmation e-mail before they are put on the list (i.e. you sign up at a site, get an e-mail saying “confirm subscription”, and only if you reply to that confirmation e-mail do you get put on the list). This is done to ensure that there is no abuse of an open e-mail list (for example, some people have been known to sign up enemies to lists they know they will hate — like baptists on the Barbie Fetish list.)

Yahoo seems to have taken this to some perverse extreme by introducing “Double Opt-out”.

I just unsubscribed from the Tom Tom Club mailing list (don’t ask), and got this reply from YahooGroups (where the list lives):

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While double opt-in is good because it keeps consumers off lists they might not want to be on, double opt-out is bad because it keeps consumers on lists they clearly want to get off of. Another move by Yahoo! that shows that they just don’t get the ‘Net anymore. Very sad.

(And the pop-up ad for a casino on the Yahoo!Groups homepage didn’t help much with my opinion either.