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To avoid any spam law violations, I would suggest to mark these leads as unsubscribed.
I believe a lead filling out a form saying they do not want to join your mailing list could be easily interpreted, by the lead, as an unsubscribe. If a lead thinks they have unsubscribed, they will not want to receive any marketing emails.
I would only send these leads operational emails.
Yes, Will is correct here.
BUT you should be using a subscription management system where you would invite people to different kinds of content so that they could say No to some and Yes to others. So in that case, if they did this:
then they haven't totally unsubscribed. You can only send Webinar invitations. So saying No to the Newsletter isn't a total unsubscribe. Why is that important?
Because an Unsubscribe=TRUE should be an explicit request by the user. Technically if you set Unsubscribe=True you have to wait until the user comes back to do reverse this, even if all they originally did was to refuse the Newsletter. In case the FTC were to investigate, they might see the Unsubscribe = TRUE as evidence the user refused all emails, when in fact they made a specific refusal to one type of newsletter. (But, I'm not lawyer, so ask your counsel to confirm).
Of course, you still can't send them anything if they never opted in or never made a preference.