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I'm working on an ecommerce website that uses Mailchimp for both transactional and marketing email. Users can purchase items without creating an account on the website.

Per Mailchimp's terms of service, we cannot send marketing email to customers without their explicit permission. We would like to give users an opportunity to opt in to marketing email during the checkout flow.

Any suggestions on the best way to encourage users to opt in to marketing email without discouraging them from completing the checkout process?

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I assume your goal is to increase subscription rates in a way that your end users find non-spammy so you don't get kicked off MailChimp.

Fortunately, this is an easy thing to experiment with. If I were you I'd AB test the impact of putting the checkbox just prior to the CHECKOUT button and on a confirmation screen after the checkout is completed. You'll be trading off subscriptions with cart abandonment.

A few tips on user-friendly practices:

  1. Provide an example – link to a past newsletter (in a pop-up window), although I'm not sure I'd do this prior to checkout.
  2. Don't lie. Don't tell subscribers that they'll get personalized and exclusive offers when they're getting the same generic discount as all million other people on the list.
  3. Display the approximate cadence. ("1-2 per week", or "1 per week, plus special sales a few times a year".) This is a great opportunity to test what cadence people think they want to receive – you can A/B test cadence offerings and see the impact on sign-up rates.

A couple of great resources:

  1. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/mailing-list-usability/ – This article is older but most of the findings, especially about subscribing, still hold.
  2. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/newsletters/
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  • Yes, that's exactly the goal. Thanks for sharing those ideas and resources! I hadn't thought about using A/B testing or the Nielsen Norman Group, so I'm glad you brought them up. Much appreciated! – Isaac Sep 26 '20 at 0:37

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