Blackjack is a staple at any casino, and it’s a game in which skill and luck both play equal parts. Skill and a little bit of luck are needed in email marketing, too. For example, why take a chance on your email address collection process when you can improve your own odds by using a double opt-in sign up method whenever you can? See what I did there…cards and contacts? Tricky!
Seriously, though: The definition of doubling down is “to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking”. And this is how everyone should approach email address collection. Why?
Double opt-in (also known as confirmed opt-in) address collection simply means that anytime someone signs up for your mailing list online, they’ll receive an email with a verification link. Once they click the link, they are considered confirmed, and are added to your email list. Conversely, if they don’t click the link, they won’t be added.
Requiring people to confirm that they want to join your mailing list is a good thing! By making the effort to confirm their request, your new subscriber is saying that, yes, they really want to receive email from your organization. This reduces the likelihood that they will mark your messages as spam. It also serves as a means to ensure that folks have entered the correct information, especially their email address! This reduces the number of invalid addresses and supports the overall health and maintenance of your list. Members who confirm – or“double down” – on your list also tend to be more engaged and responsive. And the more responsive and active a member is with your mailings, the better it is for you!
The only real downside to requiring confirmation for new email signups is that some people will fail to complete the process for whatever reason. Most of the naysayers out there assume that the “the subscriber doesn’t understand how the confirmation process works” or “the confirmation email got filtered to the spam folder”. Either of these scenarios could certainly be true. But think about the last time you signed up for an email list. Chances are there was a confirmation process via email. When you entered your address the first time, you were advised that a confirmation email would be sent to you, and to check your spam folder if you didn’t see it. I’ll bet you received that email almost instantly. And I’ll also bet that you weren’t confused about the process, and you didn’t forget that you wanted to join that mailing list.
Generally, this double opt-in/confirmed opt-in process only works for new online sign-ups. If you are importing members who signed up at an event or a show, the addresses will just be added to your contact list. However, most ESP’s will have some type of confirmation process that you can enable. This will allow you to send an initial email to your newly imported set of addresses, giving those folks the opportunity to confirm that they want to be on your list.
To sum up, double opt-in email collection is really not a crap shoot (sorry, couldn’t help myself!). So take a chance. Odds are, you’ll win big with great addresses, a healthy list, and active email engagement!