Why the channel should work with opt-out instead of opt-in

4 min read By October 9, 2021 December 9th, 2021 No Comments

Do your channel partners rarely share your content with their end-users? You’re not alone. According to research, more than 85% of channel partners simply won’t engage in their vendor’s marketing programs. The solution? Switch to an opt-out strategy.

Chances are that you’ve poured your heart and soul into your channel marketing campaigns, but the results are mediocre at best. So, why is the participation rate of your channel partners so dramatically low while you spent lots of time and money on creating content?

Opt-in vs. opt-out

First, let’s explore the difference between an opt-in and opt-out. “Opting-in” means that you need to take affirmative action to receive, say, a newsletter. This often takes the form of “ticking a box.” Before GDPR (which you will read more about below), most companies opted-in as a standard for their newsletter subscription.

Another example of an opt-in is the cookie banner that you need to click “OK” or “Accept.”

An opt-out is when you don’t want to receive a newsletter or don’t want certain cookies. “Unticking” the checkboxes is usually an opt-out.
So, how does that apply to partner sales & marketing campaigns?

Why opt-in doesn’t work

Opting-in to sales & marketing campaigns for partners includes logging in to a partner portal, downloading assets, changing them where needed, uploading them into their media channels, perhaps a round or two of reviews by the vendor, new assets, new uploads…tired yet?

Even though opting-in seems like a sensible and easy way to approve marketing campaigns, it actually creates a lot of extra work for your partners. The average partner has over twenty vendors to manage. These vendors each have their own partner portals, filled to the brim with campaigns. As a result, partners simply don’t have the time to go through every single campaign. They would rather focus on their core business, and who can blame them? Let’s face it; opt-in hasn’t worked for 15 years. It’s time for a new direction.

An opt-out strategy can boost your participation rate

Think of it this way: your partners have joined your partner programs to benefit from your marketing campaigns. If they don’t have the time to actively opt-in, they can no longer benefit. That’s why it’s a smart move to switch to an opt-out strategy where partners automatically join all of your marketing efforts.

At Channext, we implement a system that automates the publishing of vendor sales & marketing campaigns to partners’ websites, social media channels, and advertising accounts. It means that partners don’t need to download manually, upload, and review every single campaign before it goes live.

Instead, every time a marketing campaign is about to launch, partners receive a notification. There is no need for them to approve campaigns they want to join actively—instead, partners opt-out from campaigns they don’t want to share with their customers. For the opt-out strategy to work, it’s crucial to offer your partners complete control and personalization options. For instance, making changes to the primary copy so that it fits their brand voice. This way, they can make sure that the content resonates with their audience.

Tip: notify partners at least a week before launch. This way, they still have time to make adjustments.

GDPR and opt-out for channel marketing

Are you worried about privacy law, GDPR? To comply with this law, partners need to give consent about receiving promotional material in a “freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous” way. At a glance, an opt-out strategy doesn’t seem to comply. However, at the very start of your partnership, you do ask for consent to send your partners marketing campaigns. You are not sending your partners promotional material to sell them something, but rather to help them in their marketing efforts. This is why opt-out for channel marketing is GDPR-proof.


By switching to an opt-out strategy, your partners enjoy the advantage of automation while remaining in control of their own sales & marketing channels. Giving them the chance to personalize campaigns helps them reach their customers in an even better way. This way, an opt-out will result in a sky-high partner participation rate in your campaigns.

Cassandra Pizzey

Cassandra Pizzey

A Channexteer since 2021, Cassandra has been copywriting for the past 10-years, broadening her horizon as content marketer since entering the B2B SaaS industry. Connect with Cassandra on LinkedIn for more.

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