Ever since the arrival of Email Marketing, nothing has occupied the minds of marketing more than the question of single opt-in and double opt-in. While the digital marketing community by and large remains divided on the issue, it is safe to state that the seasoned and experienced marketers tend to choose double opt-in at the drop of a hat. What is it that prompts practitioners on both camps to pick one over the other?
What you will not find in this article is us making a case for either practice; rather this piece is only intended to spark discussions among the practitioners and those who are yet to make up their mind.
So, because this is neither a promotional or smear piece, it is quite important to present you with the pros and cons of both options.
Marketing Dilemma of ‘to double opt-in or not’
As is the case with any marketing concept that involves obtaining or missing out on ROI, the question of whether to choose single opt-in or double opt-in has persistently confounded marketers. However, among the practitioners are those who have benefited and were let down by either practice. While those in the single opt-in camp quickly point out the growing rate of confirmation failure that takes place with double opt-in, the advocates of double opt-in make the case for eliminating risk of unconfirmed email addresses to find their way into your list. So, how does a person who is on fence about the issue, go about deciding what is good for them?
What should you know about single opt-in?
Everybody likes to go through confirmation process that is devoid of complications. Well, in the single opt-in driven email marketing, a click is the only thing that separates a user and confirmation. The moment a user enters their email details into the sign up form, they are instantly added to your email list. As has been revealed by various findings after findings, a larger number of users tend to finish up sign up procedure in the case of single opt-in. One click opt-in has sat well with users largely due to its user-friendliness. Not only does it go easier on users, it also gives them instant gratification of receiving mails on the fly. Single opt-in has also been cited by advocate, with some justification, as the easiest means of building email list.
What every supporter of single opt-in marketer should be vary of
If you thought the path of single opt in was without any setbacks, you may want to rethink your game. In addition to the dreadful prospect of flooding your valuable list with bad email addresses, there is also the risk of competitors spamming your list with wrong email addresses. This is an area where double-opt in has clear advantage over single opt-in.
What does Double opt-in bring to the marketer’s table?
With Double opt-in the marketer has luxury of confirming the subscription and inclusion of users into valid email list. The option allows the interested user to sign up for your services by clicking on your reconfirmation mail. By making users to go through such an additional confirmation process discount the possibility of including unconfirmed email addresses to your organic list. More importantly, it prevents link spammers and vindictive people from using other individuals’ email address to fill up different subscription forms. It all boils down to the intent of specific user as you are able to double check that the owner of email address wants further mails or services from you.
So why do people still ‘opt out’ of the double opt-in
“As a rule of thumb practitioners of double opt-in are advised to brace themselves for slower list building, loss of email addresses and utilization of technical resources”
As is evident from behavioral pattern found among a vast majority of subscribers, the more difficult the sign up process is for users, the less incentive to complete sign up. Therefore, it requires no further explanation to see why some people go all the way to the threshold and yet leave before taking the one last step. On average Marketers grow tired of losing out first time subscribers to the re-confirmation process. There is nothing more disheartening to a diligent marketer than investing your time and energy in leading a user to sign up for services, only to find out that the subscriber did not finish the double opt-in procedure.
What is the right course of action for fledgling email marketers?
“There is more to both options than serving as the most viable practice for users”
Based on what you have read so far, you have got a sense of right or wrong. However, the question really boils down to how either of these practices benefits a user in the long run. Most email marketers don’t just build list, rather they do it for the long-term future. Hence, it becomes increasingly more vital to build a list whose authenticity is not compromised at any point during the building journey. While using a single opt-in option to develop your list from scratch, you may want take a deep look at the pros and cons and see if the benefits of adopting single opt-in will far outweigh the risk of compromising the quality of your list.
“Thankfully, you can be in control of marketing campaigns and call shots before it is too late in the business cycle”
If using single opt-in has been without untoward incidents, then naturally you may not feel inclined to change the way things are. But if you have suffered setback after setback in the form of low quality list, spamming incidents and damage of reputation, then you may want to shift your attention to double opt-in. While it is absolutely essential that you make up your mind before you go about building the list, hopefully, with a better planning, you will have the chance to alternate between both options to figure what is ultimately best for your business.
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