3 ways of opt-in

Spam is big. The amount of spam grows enormously every year. Belgian government reacted on this issue by creating the opt-in rule. Another topic on this blog gives the exact opt-in law, but in this topic I shortly want to explain the different techniques to get in touch with your (potential) customers, based on the opt-in rules.

Spam brings damage to the goodwill of marketers who do want to create honest and permission-based commercial communication, as well as damage to the image of the specific brand. For this reason, reaction on this opt-in rule was highly important for future transparent and reliable interactions to customers.

Opt-in is the rule behind a worldwide spread statement: “I’ll ask myself if I want to hear from you.” People will join your list if they feel you have valuable information. Pay attention to your message, instead of hunting as much e-mail addresses as possible. The most important issue in permission-based email marketing is to have a clean list of contacts. This is where opt-in comes on stage again.

Opt-in is executed in three ways; single opt-in, confirmed opt-in and double opt-in.

Single opt-in
Single opt-in is the simplest subscription process. A subscriber provides his email address to you through an email, web form or another channel, and then receives his first email, with no further administrative steps.

Confirmed opt-in
Confirmed opt-in contains the single opt-in step, followed by sending the subscriber a one-time confirmation message.

Double opt-in
Double opt-in sends the subscriber an extra e-mail on which he or she has to reply or click on a link to confirm his subscription. After this actual confirmation, he receives the newsletter he or she demanded. 

Single opt-in is the easiest accessible method, but still allows people to subscribe in another’s name, possible non-permission based email remains a possibility. This issue is not solved by confirmed opt-in, but with good intentions it can enrich your database. Double opt-in ensures the cleanest list, which leads to a quality reputation and high deliverability. The extra step also confirms the interest of the recipient in what you offer.

An often-given contra against double opt-in says that some prospective list members will not confirm their subscription. My opinion on this is that if these people can’t even be bothered to complete the subscription, they likely will never be valuable to your company.

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