Email marketing is permission-based marketing, which means you must have permission to add people to your marketing list, and permission to email them information. Every email newsletter, ezine, or email marketing communication should have a clear, straight-forward unsubscribe or opt-out link, and opt-out or unsubscribe requests should be handled immediately.
Single Opt-In Marketing Lists vs. Double Opt-In Marketing Lists
Single opt-ins are a simple one step process. In this case, when a consumer subscribes, they are automatically added to your email marketing list right away and immediately taken to your Thank You page or Download page. There is just one simple, fast step. Put in your email to sign up, and you’re done.
Single opt-in email marketing lists are usually larger due to the simple and fast one step sign up process. With this approach your list will likely be bloated with fake email addresses and spam email addresses — both from spam bots and people just trying to get your free gift without actually signing up.
Double opt-ins use a basic two step process. In this case, when a consumer subscribes, a confirmation email is sent to their inbox containing a verification link. They MUST click on the verification link in the email message, to confirm that they really do want to subscribe. Clicking the link, adds them to your email marketing list and takes them to your Thank You or Download page.
Double opt-in email marketing lists are usually a smaller and higher quality because consumers have to check their email, open your message, and take a second action to complete their sign up process. This weeds out spam bots, prevents people from using fake email addresses to sign up, and reduces the chance that you may get reported for sending spam.
We Use A Double Opt-In Email Process
To protect the integrity of our list, to avoid sending email to people who don’t want to hear from us, and to keep our list from getting bloated, we ALWAYS a double opt-in list building approach — and we highly recommend that you do the same.
If you’re actively testing email campaigns, measuring open rates, and tracking email marketing successes, it will be very difficult to ensure your numbers are accurate if your list is bloated with fake and spam email addresses. The higher quality your list, the better and more accurate results you will see from your measuring, testing, and tracking.
There is a lot of noise online about single opt-in list building and double opt-in list building. And over time some experts who preached that single opt-ins are best, have not changed their tune and are saying double opt-ins are best — but their old blog posts are still available online! Other blog posts and articles will encourage you to use a single opt-in approach just to build a big list fast to be more attractive to potential JV partners. But in my mind, that approach just sets you up for disaster, when your list doesn’t perform for your JV partner during a big launch.
Still other courses and articles online tell readers to use a single opt-in to get people on your list, then “hide” double opt-in verification links in the email content. Again, this sheisty technique feels misleading to me, and frankly I think it sets you up for increases in spam complaints.
Then there are the experts that share the benefits of the double opt-in approach to list building and the benefits of a clean, quality list. These are the posts I love to see! While I can’t tell you which approach is best for your business, I think by now you know which list building approach I think is best — DOUBLE OPT-IN!
Provide An Easy Unsubscribe Option
Whether you use a single opt-in or a double opt-in, one thing remains constant — an easy to find unsubscribe link. By making is clear that you include unsubscribe links or opt-out links in each email message, email newsletter, or ezine, you will actually increase your subscriber count.
At some point people who have joined your list may want to leave. By showing them that leaving your list is easy — as easy as joining it, you bypass some of the fear associated with the possibility of receiving spam and unwanted email in their inboxes.
What about you?
Do you prefer a single opt-in or double opt-in list building approach for your email marketing? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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