If you've ever been in a room with me when direct email is discussed (which, shockingly, is actually not a small number of people), you have likely heard my opinion on one-to-one email: Opt-in, opt-in, opt-in. Give me one person who asked me to send them something over one person unsubscribing, reporting me as spam, or emailing me directly to manually deal with their confusion. Bottom line and resource suck of dealing with confused frustrated people and/or, g-d forbid, getting your domain blocked aside, an opt-ed in connection, over time, has a much higher probability of converting. Yes, I could spray and pray, but I could also take the same resources and focus on people who've actually asked to talk to me.
Lately I've been thinking about how the opt-in concept translates to, well, everything else. How much more can we get done if we're at the table with people who've genuinely chosen to be there? How likely is it for one of my sons to do something I need him to do if I can find a way for him to opt-in to it? How much better is my energy spent sharing ideas with people who say "yes and also yes" as opposed to "that will never happen?"
I've been trying to use the flip side of that as a gauge. In any situation, has everyone opted into the same thing? Can I tease it out enough to get everyone opted in to the same thing? If not, where is my energy best spent?
Because, really, getting spam is annoying. If I can realizing when I'm spamming others, everyone wins.