And why it’s important to make people say yes twice.
What is double opt-in?
Double opt-in is a process that makes people confirm a subscription twice: once by signing up for a subscription and second through a confirmation mailing. For example:
Someone comes to your website or blog and finds that you have monthly newsletters. Awesome! They enter their email into the newsletter subscription field and click signup. This is the first opt-in. As soon as their email has been entered into that subscription field, an additional confirmation mailing is automatically sent to their inbox. Within that mailing is an activation link that they must click on in order to subscribe to newsletters. This is the second opt-in.
Why double opt-in?
At the most basic level, double opt-in verifies that the email address is real and that the subscription is genuine – both of which are pretty important when you want to send mailings. But double opt-in goes much deeper than that too. It also plays an important role in quality control, security, customer/contact satisfaction and industry best practices. Let’s briefly touch on each.
The power of quality
When we use a double opt-in process, we can be confident that recipients really do want to read our mailings. Given that people have already confirmed the subscription from their inbox, there is also a lower risk of the recipient marking your mailing as spam, which in turn increases deliverability. By nature, having interested recipients will also bring higher open, click-through and conversation statistics.
The power of security
The security double opt-in provides actually applies to both you and the recipient because without double opt-in, anyone can signup someone else’s email address to your mailings. For the recipient, they might start receiving content they never signed up for. And it doesn’t take much to imagine how this can quickly take a turn for the worst. Without a double opt-in process, you might unknowingly send to people who never actually subscribed to your content in the first place and even though you weren’t the one who added them to the mailing list, you will be held responsible should a spam report be made against you.
The power of satisfaction
No one likes spam. Not the readers. Not the businesses. Only the spammers like spam.
So why would you allow the possibility of a mailing list that could be corrupted by unwarranted email addresses? Your readers will be a lot more satisfied knowing that they have consented to having your mailing arrive in their inbox and you’ll be less likely to receive complaints from filed spam reports.
The power of best practices
A double opt-in process is not currently required by law, but is still strongly recommended as it is a good way to build long-term, positive customer relationships. However, that’s not to say that the law won’t change in the near future. Given that data protection and privacy laws are strengthening, particularly within the EU, it won’t come as a surprise to many marketers should the double opt-in be made mandatory. With that in mind, it could be worthwhile for your business to implement a double opt-in process sooner rather than later.