I know there is so much debate out there on opt-in. Single opt-in vs. Double opt-in. Which is better? What should I use? Does it matter? I get this question all the time when I coach clients – especially if they are just starting out or migrating from one email marketing platform to another.
So, I wanted to end the debate – here and now.
Now, perhaps you are thinking opt-in is such a trivial of an issue as it pertains to authentic list building. It is basic – but it matters!
In my option, there is a right answer that will end the debate– and I will share my personal view on the matter.
Now, let’s review some facts of single and double opt-in.
This process requires someone to send a subscription request before the prospect is added to the email list. Supporters strongly believe that it’s the quickest way to build a large list.
This process requires two requests before the prospect is added to the email list — the initial subscription request, plus a confirmation of the request. Supporters strongly believe that this is the best way to a ‘quality’ list and avoid potential problems.
Now, the pro’s and con’s of both.
Pros of single opt-in
- No distraction or extra step needed can lead to bigger list. The prospect enters their email address, clicks submit, and immediately they are added to the list.
Cons of single opt-in
- No verification may impact list integrity. Without verification, you never know each and every prospect that opted-in. There could be spammers or invalid addresses that are not going to be valid when opening or reading your emails.
- Subscribers may not realize they are on a ‘list’. Prospects may opt-in for a teleseminar thinking it’s a one-time opt-in for an event, and not realized they’ve been added to the main marketing email list. Result? They will most likely opt-out.
- Difficult to value metrics. With invalid addresses or faulty emails, it’s hard to analyze email metrics such as open rates and readability.
Pros of double opt-in
- Reduces possibility of SPAM complaints with Internet Service Providers. It’s unlikely someone who has confirmed their subscription to your list will report you as SPAM to their ISP. They will either contact you or simply just opt-out.
- Cleaner list (removes bad emails and mistypes). The process ensures people are entering their information correctly. Prospect opted-in with a bad email address? They won’t receive confirmation they’ve been added and will most likely opt-in again to ensure they are correctly added to your list.
- Potentially more responsive. As the list is of higher quality based on the double opt-in process, the readers are more likely to want to click and open your emails – improving your readability and open rates.
Cons of double opt-in
- May lose subscribers due to user confusion and requiring extra steps in the process. Prospects may not know they need to confirm their subscription. They might not see the notice on the thank you page or see the email asking them to confirm their subscription. As a result, you’re potentially losing out on new leads to your list.
The verdict? Do both!
You can ask (but not require) your new subscribers to confirm their subscription. It’s the best of both worlds. You’re not being limited by the chance of losing unconfirmed subscribers by having double opt-in AND you are allowing subscribers to confirm their subscription immediately after joining (which they wouldn’t be able to do with just single opt-in.)
Here’s an example of how we do it at Client Attraction.
As you can see in the red box, we ask our new subscribers to confirm their subscription after they opt-in. This is the email confirmation someone receives when they opt-in to our Client Attraction ezine list. It’s a very authentic and simple process for new subscribers to follow.
We don’t require it – it’s suggested. And, it has worked well for us by blending a good balance of the pros of both single and double opt-in. Try it, and it will help with authentically building your list!
Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!
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Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit www.derekfredrickson.com.