EMI: What is the best kind of opt-in?

Robert Consoli July 23, 2009 – 10:34 am EDT

Collecting quality recipient data has a direct impact on your business. By sending e-mail to recipients that really want your mailing, you will increase your open rates and your sales. The problem is that most recipient data can’t be validated until a first mailing has been sent.

Deliverability issues occur when an ISP throttles, blocks a mailing or sends it to the bulk folder because of too many bad addresses. A poor send will lower your IP reputation and impact your future sends…read on for the opt-in types, how they work and which ones to chose.
– – –
The right kind of opt-in is a hard choice because you don’t want to loose people by making them do too much work to complete a subscription but then again you do need to make the people who give you the email address own that email address and spell it right.
I like the idea of entering it twice but I tend to copy and paste it the 2nd time. I prefer the double opt-in option, once they filled out the form the landing page says “cheers, one more thing to do, we’ve sent you an email, go and click the link in it” but of course you can be a little scared of losing people who can’t be bothered to go from your web-site to their inbox. One bit of advice… people who cannot be bothered to go to their inbox, will not spend money and are not really interested, if you have not done enough to earn that level of commitment whilst getting them to the sign-up form, you’ve done something wrong.

I worked with a gambling company who launched a new site and were giving away free credits to play, I nagged and nagged to get them to use double opt-in, my contacts there nagged and nagged their bosses to do it but we were all over-ruled because they wanted to maximise their database.

Then they marketed to it.
Their deliverability dies within a week, Hotmail and Yahoo were just saying no. SNDS and JMRP were actually showing their transactional emails as being marked as spam!

It turns out that people who want free gambling, don’t want to give their real email address!
They were just entering random ones to get into the site, so all of their follow up marketing emails were going to people who had never even visited the site.
About 3 months later, they chopped off every email address that had not clicked a link in 2 months. Their deliverability improved because they were sending less emails from the same IPs, their open rate percentages went up, their open numbers did not go down because the others were not touching them anyway, in fact they went up because the people left on the list were the main interactors so everyone who wanted the email got it and they made more money. So they invested more money in consultants, agencies and software vendors to do more of it.
So even though they sent less emails, they actually made more money for everyone!