Are you wondering about opt-in and how incorporating it can elevate your email marketing success? As the Head of Customer Happiness, my job is to keep you (our customers) happy. This is why I always try to weave some sparkly sunshine and joy into all of my communications. And, while double rainbows are great, I know that you’re actually happiest when your customers are happy. So for that reason, I’m sharing all about how to keep your email subscribers engaged by using an opt-in or double opt-in approach.
Companies that buy email lists and then send cold correspondence to prospects are actually sending a ripple of bad email juju through the universe. This type of approach tends to annoy email recipients more than a candy bar getting stuck in a vending machine – resulting in crummy engagement metrics and a wave of unsubscribes. It can also generate high bounce rates (especially if the lists are outdated) and cause emails to be marked as spam. These strikes count against a sender’s reputation, which is a serious matter in the email stratosphere. A poor sender reputation can thwart a company’s email efforts for years to come, diminishing future returns.
Instead of buying lists, your company should focus on building its email subscriber list organically. Inviting people to opt-in your email communications helps to avoid many of the problems that negatively affect sender reputation. Read on to give opt-in campaigns the green light!
How Does this Opt-In Thing Work?
“Opt-in” refers to a scenario when consumers are given the choice as to whether they want to receive communications from you or not. People who want to receive newsletters, promotional codes, product release information, etc. can sign up on a company’s website to get regularly emailed communications. Companies that have opt-in lists only send emails to people who have taken the time to sign up as subscribers…similar to the way my cat only shows affection to whoever feds her!
Note: It’s especially important to be familiar with the concept of email opt-ins if you plan on using our email software because we require that all SendinBlue clients use 100% opt-in email lists. “Give us opt-in or give us death” I always say! Okay, that was a little dramatic, but you get the idea.
By only emailing people who have expressed interest in your company, you are increasing the likelihood that your efforts will be directed to people who are interested in what you have to offer. This means your communications are also more likely to elicit engagement and action from your audience. Of course, having people opt-in to your email communications doesn’t guarantee that your email efforts will be successful, but it’s a huge step in getting it delivered.
What the Heck is Double Opt-In?
For companies wanting to improve email deliverability and engagement even further, the double opt-in system is key! If opt-in is good, double opt-in is twice as good! (Yeah, you probably saw that one coming.) Furthermore, the double opt-in method is actually required by law in some places, which is why it’s always important to stay up-to-date with the current laws of the states and countries where you have email recipients.
With “double opt-in” consumers sign up for your emails and then, after they provide their personal information, they receive a thank you message indicating that an email is being sent to them that contains a link. That email will need to be opened by the new subscriber and the link inside will need to be clicked on to verify their email address before he or she is added to a subscriber list. Email addresses that are not verified do not make it to the master email list and those people are not contacted again.
This approach may seem like a lot of work to set up and manage, but there are a ton of benefits that come along with using double opt-in! (And, the great news is that SendinBlue can manage the double opt-in process for you automatically. Yea, we like to help!)
What are the Benefits of a Double Opt-In System Anyway?
Yes, double opt-in takes a little longer to set up, and yes, it can reduce the size of your email subscriber list; however, double opt-in has some incredible benefits that outweigh these doubts:
1. Reduced Hard Bounces
Double opt-in allows you to confirm that new email addresses are valid and that they actually belong to the person who completed the form. Subscribers may be in a hurry when signing up and mistype their email address or provide an old email address that they used way back in the day, resulting in your company receiving an invalid email address that will cause a hard bounce. Sometimes, people may even provide someone else’s email address or a dummy email address to try to access exclusive content without having to provide their own personal information. Then there are bots (oh the bots!) that generate and submit bum email addresses en masse. In all of these scenarios, leaning on a double opt-in approach allows you to nip those problems in the bud by blocking any invalid addresses before they are ever added to your email list. Don’t set yourself up for a lot of scrubbing of all those hard bounces from your email lists later.
2. Improved Engagement
On average, emails sent to double opt-in subscribers receive twice as many clicks and generate fewer unsubscribes than emails to regular opt-in lists. This is because the double opt-in process weeds out the ambivalent or lukewarm subscribers that add to your email list numbers but don’t contribute much to your bottom line. So while the added work of having subscribers take two steps to sign up may deter some people, the people that it doesn’t deter are going to be far more valuable subscribers in the long run.
3. Improved Deliverability
If a new email subscriber is told to keep an eye out for an email from your company, he or she is probably going to anxiously await the arrival of your email like Ralphie with his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. So then if they don’t receive an email right away, they’re going to be more likely to check their spam/junk folder to look for your email and then move it to their inbox immediately.
With a typical single opt-in approach, however, new subscribers may not remember weeks or months down the road that they signed up for your emails and never notice that they were being filtered into spam or junk along with auto insurance quotes and enlargement ads. This means that your emails may not ever be successfully delivered to that person. It creates an unfortunate missed opportunity for a company to get their name and products in front of an interested consumer!
It also makes it it easier to comply with the law. For example, double opt-in can help your company conform to the rules of Canada’s anti-spam law CASL. Each of your subscribers will have clearly consented to accepting delivery of your emails. That’s how you keep good relations with everyone operating under the maple leaf.
4. Immediate Communication
With double opt-in, the expectation for consumers is that you will be communicating with them right away. This gives you the opportunity to start building a relationship with consumers immediately after they sign up. You can include brand information, exclusive content, a discount or special promotion, helpful information, a cat video, and the like within your first email or on the page that they’re taken to after clicking your email verification link.
5. Reduced Complaints
Because double opt-in ensures that the person you’re emailing is A) who they say they are and B) expecting your emails, subscriber complaints are far lower than a typical opt-in email list. And hey, fewer people marking your emails as spam and/or contacting your customer service team with fire and brimstone threats is a win-win for any company!
Now that you understand the difference between opt-in and double opt-in email lists, as well as how a double opt-in can enhance your email efforts, you can start setting up your double opt-in email sign up right away! SendinBlue’s tools help you to customize your double opt-in settings and tailor your message to appeal to your unique audience!