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Subject:

Opt-in Email Turns 15

From:

Susan Faghani <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

EmailRules Community <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 19:16:13 +0200

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text/plain

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text/plain (67 lines)

With 2008 marking the 15th year of double opt-in -- a term that tends 
to be used interchangeably with "confirmed opt-in" -- we are taking a 
look at opt-in, or permission-based, email.

LISTSERV(R) email list management software first introduced double 
opt-in in 1993, designed to prevent people from getting subscribed to 
an email list unless they wanted to be.  

Generally speaking, opt-in refers to an email list or email marketing 
practice in which individuals must explicitly request to be included in a 
specific email campaign or newsletter.

Here's a look at the degrees to which subscribers give their permission 
within the opt-in email framework:

* Plain opt-in
- No confirmation message sent to the recipient

* Confirmed opt-in
- Subscription confirmation message sent to the recipient

* Double opt-in
- The submitted name is not immediately added to the mailing list. After 
a person requests to subscribe to a list, a confirmation email message 
is automatically sent to the supplied email address asking the person 
to verify. Once confirmed, the person is added. If nothing is done with 
the confirmation email, then the address is not submitted or added to 
the list.

* Confirmed double opt-in
- Confirmation request message sent to the recipient
- Subscription confirmation message sent to the recipient
 
Double confirmed opt-in -- the most explicit and definitive affirmation of 
the subscriber's interest, ensuring that people say "yes" not once but 
twice and receive notification of that "yes" -- is the way to truly ensure 
that you're only sending mail to people that genuinely want to be 
subscribed to your list.  Double confirmed opt-in is the established best 
practice. And, naturally, its benefits to deliverability, relationships, 
reputation (no legitimate email marketer wants to be viewed as a 
spammer) prove the soundness of this best practice.   

Taking the additional step of an additional automatically generated 
(yet not mechanical sounding) message sounds simple. Yet a recent 
study showed that a mere 30 percent of email marketers actually used 
confirmed opt-in: http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?
page=3629205

Here is another resource, from L-Soft's VP of Marketing Outi Tuomaala, 
discussing tips, benefits and the power practice of double confirmed 
opt-in:  http://www.dmnews.com/Getting-to-Yes-Yes-Double-opt-in-as-
a-power-practice/article/99132/

Please share your thoughts on why double opt-in and double 
confirmed opt-in are not being used as widely as one might think as 
well as your experiences with opt-in email.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft

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