Email: Single vs. Double Opt-in

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GRAPHICMAIL – Newcomers to email marketing often don’t understand the difference between opt-ins and double opt-ins. If you’re wondering what opt-in email marketing actually means, then this is all the information you need.

The point of having people give you their addresses is for your email marketing message to be anticipated, delivered properly and maybe even shared. But these emails mean nothing if the recipient doesn’t understand why they’re receiving it – in which case your mailing will be disregarded or even worse, marked as spam.

So you really want to communicate to people who have opted in to your campaign? You can only consider an address opted-in if someone gave it to you by submitting a signup form or by otherwise indicating that they wish to be added to your list.

There are two main ways to let people subscribe to your emails:

Single opt-in: This means people are only added to an email list if they actually fill out your registration form. While this is a standard practice; one problem here is that people can sign up friends, family members, colleagues or just anyone they know to lists without their permission – which means you could end up sending emails to people who’ve never heard of you.

If you take that idea one step further: some people only consider an email address to be opted in if it has been confirmed twice.

Double Opt-in: When someone signs up for your email list, you send a confirmation email with a link that they must click before they’re added to your list. And if they don’t click the link, they don’t get added to the list. This is likely the best way to handle your email list, and has many advantages such as that:

  • Your response rates will be much higher because only the people who are truly interested in hearing from you will double opt-in.
  • Nobody can report you for spamming because you have proof that they’ve double opted in.
  • If you sell any advertising space within your email newsletters, you can charge more for it because your audience truly wants to hear from you.

Building a great relationship with your audience starts with giving them a choice. You can enable a double opt-in on your subscription form with GraphicMail. When someone subscribes to your newsletter they will receive a generic email asking them to click on a link to confirm their subscription.

Cross-published at the GraphicMail blog. Check out more email marketing insight from GraphicMail’s Wikus Engelbrecht.

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