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Newsletters - Should You Use Single or Double Opt-in?



This has been a problem that has been plaguing e-zine owners since the beginning of time.

Do I have single or double opt-in for my e-zine?

Well, let's first go over how each type works before we try to answer that question.

Single opt-in is where you send a subscriber to an opt-in box where they plug in their email and name and click submit. From that very moment that they hit that submit button they are automatically subscribed to your e-zine.

Double opt-in goes one step farther. After they fill in their information and hit the submit button, they will then get what is called a confirmation email sent to their in box. In order to get into your e-zine as a subscriber, they have to click a link in that confirmation email, otherwise, they are not subscribed to your e-zine.

That is the difference between single and double opt-in.

Now, to those of you who are new to this game, you might be thinking that double opt-in is an extra, useless step that only makes it harder for people to opt-in. What if they don't get their email? What if they don't know how to click on the link? What if they're afraid to click on the link because of a virus or Trojan or something?

What it they give a phony email address?

Ah, are the lights coming on?

Unfortunately, many people out there want something for nothing. If you offer an e-zine, especially if you are offering a free gift for people who sign up, you are going to get a certain percentage who will give a phony email address just to get to the download page where they can get their free gift.

Now, you might be thinking, "Okay, that's not so terrible. So they got a free gift out of me? So what?"

Well, there's still one more problem with this scenario. See, not only did they get the free gift out of you but they also gave you a phony email address. Remember that? But what if it's NOT a phony address? It may not be THEIR email address, but it MAY belong to somebody else.

Are the lights coming on a little bit more?

What do you think is going to happen when this person, whoever they are, a person who doesn't know you or your e-zine from Adam, gets YOUR e-zine in THEIR email?

Can you say "spam button?"

And they would be perfectly within their rights. Remember, they didn't ask for your e-zine to be sent to them so as far as they are concerned, it IS spam. In other words, with single opt-in, you are risking having your business shut down because of spam complaints.

Yes, with double opt-in you are going to lose some potential subscribers because they either won't want to click on the link, don't know how to click on a link, or don't even get your email. But if you're using a good autoresponder service, the problem of email delivery is the last thing you have to worry about.

Naturally, it's your decision to use either single or double opt-in. I just personally don't recommend using single opt-in as it opens up the potential for way too many problems.


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