By Brian Rooney CEO TrafficWave
Email Marketers are constantly debating the worth of single optin vs double optin when it comes to building their lists. Let’s start by understanding the difference between the two and then look at why you really want to use double optin practices to build your list.
Email Marketing Single Optin simply means that someone can enter any information in to a capture form and they are automatically subscribed and/or given access to the free ebook, software, etc… that is being offered.
Double optin means that once the form is submitted, the person will receive an email asking them to confirm their request. Typically, the confirmation is accomplished by having the subscriber click a uniquely coded link. This is the best way to make sure the people on your list WANT to be on your list and helps you stay compliant with GDPR laws about data security by receiving express consent that can be documented.
The most common argument for using the email marketing single optin method is that some email marketing practitioners believe it helps build a larger list.
The claim is that people are unlikely to take that extra step to click a confirmation link so you could end up losing out on potential prospects. In addition to the idea that single opt-in could cause you to run afoul of GDPR and other anti-spam legislation, you run the risk of building a list of non-responsive and even spoofed email addresses.
The most common argument for using the double optin method for email marketing is that email marketers want to know that the prospects they are generating are:
1) Real humans that read their emails.
2) Genuinely interested in receiving the information being offered.
Someone using the single optin method may think that they have 5,000 prospects in their database but may actually have somewhere around 3,000 because 2,000 are nothing more than junk emails, spam traps, or bots.
While 3,000 prospects is nothing to take lightly, consider that if 2,000 of those addresses are not valid, that means the ebook, software, download, etc… that was being offered has essentally been stolen if you did not ask those prospects to confirm before receiving your offer.
This is a direct quote from a discussion forum about how some folks intentionally use junk emails to get downloads and samples:
“Some sites have you provide an email, and then right after
you can download the free thing on the page.
In those cases I type in a random/fake adress.
Highly recommend if you don’t want or need the
direct to email content.”
For you, as the marketer, here is what happens:
1. You just gave your stuff away for free.
2. You can’t follow up with the prospect.
3. Your service company will charge you MORE as your list grows with addresses like these.
The only person not winning? You.
Another big issue to consider is deliverability.
If your list is cluttered with unknown or garbage email addresses, this can have a negative impact on your overall deliverability. Many email service providers will begin blocking domains that are known to repeatedly send to email addresses that don’t exist. Over time, this can result in your messages not being delivered to the real prospects that you do have. What good are those real prospects if your message can’t be delivered to them?
Some proponents of email marketing single optin hold the position that it doesn’t matter since email marketing is so inexpensive. “Why should we care if some of the email addresses in our list don’t really exist? Email marketing is so cheap anyway.”
This is a flawed perspective. Those bad email addresses could be costing you more than you realize.
Not only is your deliverability affected, meaning that your message may not be getting through to even the good email addresses, but you may be overpaying your autoresponder service provider.
AutoResponder companies like Aweber, GetResponse, Constant Contact, iContact, etc… charge on a sliding scale meaning the larger your list, the more you will pay each month.
When their system looks at your account, they see the total number of prospects. So if you have 5,000 records but only 3,000 are actually deliverable, you are paying for email addresses your message will never reach.
The idea behind using technology like autoresponders and email marketing should be to help your business increase sales while reducing expenses. Using single optin to build your email marketing lists could cost you not only in efficiency, potential legal ramifications, but also in your pocketbook.