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The Double Opt-In in Detail

Everyone must make small decisions for all aspects of life, such as whether or not to use leaded, unleaded, or premium, caffeinated or decaffeinated. These decisions are important and it makes sense that the choice you make for your e-mail marketing list will be made according to what is appropriate for you as well.

When a prospect has completed personal information requesting goods or services and an e-mail is sent back to them asking them to verify if they have filled out the application and want the information you have no made your list a “double opt-in” list. This theory is all about getting the permission of the consumer prior to sending them e-mail product information. In sending e-mail to people who have requested it, you will distinguish the messages that are legitimate from spam.

Opt-in mail comes in different forms. When a person signs up for information on the Internet and clicks “send” they are automatically on the list – this is called a single opt-in. When a consumer receives a second confirmation e-mail asking them if they are the intended recipient and to verify their interest your list then becomes a double opt-in. Adding one more step makes this a double opt-in and it is one more guarantee against spam. This is becoming the standard form of e-mail marketing among Internet businesses.

The easier you make it for the consumer to send the confirmation e-mail the higher the chances are that they will. There is software available that automatically sends confirmation e-mail immediately upon receiving the initial request. The reason this is effective is that the products and/or services the consumer is interested in will still be fresh on their mind. This automated software simply asks that the consumer hit “reply” to send the message back. They do not have to write anything in the subject line or state that they want the service. All they have to do is simply reply to the e-mail message to confirm their interest. The easier it is for the consumer to reply and contact you the higher your advertising rates will become.

Do you wonder why you cannot simply have them sign up and that is all? The simple answer to that question is that you leave yourself wide open to spammers and that is not a good thing. Not only will your consumers get annoyed at being spammed you will become liable and possibly lose your business.

Using the double opt-in method solves the problem of someone submitting his or her address in error and/or a third party submitting an address that is not theirs. When the consumer does not respond to the confirmation e-mail, their address is rejected. The benefits using the double opt-in feature:

• You will not lose money sending e-mail to consumers who are not interested

• You significantly lower your risk of complaints for unsolicited e-mail (spam)

Individuals who work in Internet marketing and use e-mail as a form of advertisements know that their advertising dollars have a higher rate of return when using the double opt-in method. They are aware that the consumers who receive their e-mails are interested in the products and/or services and will eventually become customers. Now, double opt-in is not fail-safe and there will still be some inaccurate replies to the confirmation e-mails but the numbers will be significantly less.

There is a downside in that many consumers are not familiar with e-mail advertising and they do not always read what they are supposed to do to confirm or unsubscribe. To make the matter more confusing, not every e-mail marketer uses the same technique. Therefore, if the consumer received one e-mail where all they had to do was hit the reply button to be added and another marketer wants them to put a message in the subject line the consumer may do the same thing for everyone. Either this will have them on lists they do not want to be one or you will lose a consumer that really wanted your services. There really is no way stopping this unless there is a universal code of conduct for all Internet marketers.

As you go through your lists and you probably have one that is set aside for those who decline your services it is always a good idea to check back with them (in a reasonable amount of time) to see if they are interested or not. This way you catch some consumers who may have fell through the cracks.

To Your Success,

Leon Edward


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