User previously opted out unable to opt back in

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I have a user who had previously opted out of our emails. However, she participated in a recent promo we did that used the API to gather signups (users were added and emails triggered via signup form). She participated in 8 sub-tasks within this promo, adding her to 8 new groups. However, she remains opted out.

Why was she not opted back in when signing up to receive these emails?
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Matt Olsen, Champion

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Posted 5 years ago

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Tyler Scott, Employee

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Official Response
Good morning Matt! With the current signup API call for a member who has opted out previously, no action is taken as you’re of course running into here. The ability to add members via the API who have previously opted out was not part of the current design. I reached out to one of our tech specialists to see if there are any plans to change this and the word is there are no current plans to address this.

With that being said, you would need to go the regular route of opting someone in whether it be sending us an email (support at myemma .com) with their opt-in request or sending them a link to your Emma signup form which would trigger the opt-in email. 

Hopefully this helps clarify things, but please let me know if I can assist further.
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Matt Olsen, Champion

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But we're adding users with the API via a signup form (which triggers the welcome email). How is that any different than using the signup form directly?
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Matt Olsen, Champion

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Tyler, I wanted to follow up on this to keep this conversation going.

If a user opts out of emails, but signs up again using a signup form, he's opted back in, right? Then how come, when he opts back in instead by using a signup form via the API, he is not opted back in?

The API should be meant to extend the functionality of the existing features (like signup forms). I respectfully think it is a big miss to limit the API functionality in this way, especially when you're basically forcing people to use the API if they want a responsive, flexible signup form.
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Official Response
Hey, Matt! I want to jump in for Tyler, as he’s out of the office. There’s a nuance I think we missed: When a contact goes through your signup form, they aren’t opted in until they click the opt-in confirmation link they receive in their email. If the signup form you’re using has the confirmation email turned off and is instead tied to an autoresponder welcome mailing, then the opt-in confirmation link isn’t being sent.

I understand if you’d prefer to use an autoresponder instead of the confirmation mailing. I suggest including this personalization tag — [% optin_confirm_url %] — so that contacts can click it to be opted back in. You’ll either insert that personalization tag into your mailing, which is going to insert a long link, or you can jump into the HTML and link your text like this:

<a href="[% optin_confirm_url %]">Link text here</a>
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Matt Olsen, Champion

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Wow, that just added a hundred new questions..

So all of my existing users are just sitting in a group, not actually opted in? What's the difference between that and having confirmed opt-in if I can send to them either way?

You're saying if we choose not to send confirmation links with our autoresponder welcome email, there's no way for anyone to opt back in?

How can we possibly run promos effectively using Emma if previously opted out users will have to click a confirmation link? As you know, only a very small fraction of people would click that link if it's not the main call to action.

I must be misunderstanding something, because this sounds incredibly convoluted.
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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I wish it didn’t sound convoluted! Maybe it would help to walk through a contact’s process:

  1. I sign up to receive your emails, and I’m a brand-new contact in your account. If you have a confirmation email tied to the signup form, I received it and ignored it. Contacts don’t have to click to confirm their opt-in to initially be Active; that’s simply an extra layer to present your most interested contacts.
  2. I opt out of your emails.
  3. I realize I want to receive your emails again, so I go through your signup form again. If I don’t click to confirm my opt-in this time, I will remain in Opt-Out status.

The reason is for your contacts’ protection. Say I’m a malicious person, and I enter my enemies’ email addresses into signup forms near and far. They have the power to opt out. Then I add their email addresses again. If going through a signup form a second time automatically opted them back in, they’d have no control, and I’d be able to continue adding their addresses, no matter their actions.

It sounds extreme, but that extra layer protects them and us, in accordance with the federal Can-Spam Law. Other than going through a signup form and clicking the opt-in link to acknowledge your consent, there are several ways to be opted back in.

This all means that only contacts in Opt-Out status need to click the confirmation link to move back to Active status. Your new contacts don’t have to click this link.
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Matt Olsen, Champion

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Alright now that makes sense! Thank you so much for the explanation Katie.
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Awesome! My pleasure, Matt.
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City of Vancouver, Washington

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If we don't have a sign-up form on our site, how can we opt someone back in to our lists who has previously opted out?
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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hello! There are a few other ways to get someone opted back in. Here's how.
(Edited)