|January 2, 2004
Email Marketing: Single vs. Double Opt-In
The best and most profitable way you can use Email Marketing is to
develop personal one-on-one relationships with your clients and
prospects. These personal relationships are the key to the long-term success of your
Effective Email Marketing is based on two pillars: permission and respect
In order to send customers or prospects a message, you must first get
their permission (they must opt-in to your mailing list). At the
same time, you must agree to never sell or share your list with anybody
Opt-in Email Marketing (also called Permission-Based Email Marketing) has
proven to produce the best response rates compared to other marketing
methods, such as direct traditional mail or banner advertisements.
Opt-In Email comes in two forms: "single" opt-in and "double"
A "single" opt-in list is usually created by inviting
members to join via a web form or by sending an email message to a "subscribe"
email address. Once readers send the form or the email message, they are subscribed
to the list.
A "double" opt-in list, also called a "confirmed"
opt-in list, requires the subscriber to reply to a confirmation message to activate the
The advantage of the "single" opt-in method are that your list will grow
faster. However, there are some pitfalls, like the fact that
people may subscribe friends or family, who may not want to receive your messages and who
could, in the worse case scenario, accuse you of spam.
The advantages of the "double" opt-in method is that you will have a higher
quality list (since only interested readers will take the time to go through your
confirmation process). "Double" opt-in lists also command higher
advertising rates because they get far better responses from readers.
Double confirmation also makes list administration easier, by keeping the email list clean
with valid addresses of willing subscribers (clean lists are also
delivered faster, because the server doesn't spend time retrying bad
The main disadvantage of "double" opt-in lists is that many people may not
understand your confirmation message or may not want to go through the extra step.
Some Email Marketing companies consider the percentage of people who fail to confirm to be
as high as 50%.
All things considered, we strongly recommend the "double"
opt-in approach. It is not only the most ethical way to create a list,
but the one that builds more valuable memberships. Also, with the
current increase of anti-spam legislation, double confirmation may soon become the only
safeguard against being blacklisted by anti-spam organizations.
Finally, a couple of suggestions on Opt-In Email Marketing etiquette:
- Always include a short line of text at the beginning of the message reminding your
readers that they are receiving your email because they subscribed to
your mailing list. This is important because we receive so much email these days that we
may easily forget that we have subscribed to any particular list.
- Always include clear and easy-to-follow instructions to unsubscribe.
You must not make your subscribers jump through hoops if they want to stop receiving your
messages. You must either include an "unsubscribe link" (which most mailing list
hosts will provide) or a "mailto link" where readers can send a blank message to
The Step By Step Guide to
Creating and Promoting Your Ezine: (by Karon Thackston) The author walks
you step by step through every single element of creating and promoting an ezine. If
you are serious about effectively promoting your business and building profitable
relationships with your customers using email marketing read this ebook first.
You can freely reprint this article provided that you
include the following resource box:
Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), an
internet marketing content site packed with useful articles and resources, and SEO
Tutorial ( http://www.seotutorial.info ) where
you can learn the basics of search engine optimization in four easy steps.
To read other tips, visit our archive.
Get a short Email message every time a new tip goes
Your Email address:
never be sold, rented or given away to anybody. You can unsubscribe at any time.