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It does and Jay should have researched before launching his campaign.

Till yesterday, he was in high spirits.

Thrilled at 75 opt-ins his landing page had registered on its first day.

Jay started calculating how many subscribers would he have by 30 days.

If it averaged at 50 opt-ins x 30 days, it would be 1500 new subscribers for his mailing list.

And if he could sell to 5% of them, it would be Rs. 1,000 x 75… yippee… he would hit sales of Rs. 75,000/-

Rs. 1,000 was the price of his online course.

And… Rs. 75,000 x 12 months = Rs. 9,00,000. From the sale of a single product.

And there were two more ready for launch.

How about that long-awaited vacation to the Maldives or a new car?

Or what about getting the house repainted?

He was patting his own back till he realized what was happening…

Most of the emails his landing page had collected didn’t exist.

They had bounced.

He had fallen prey to an old dirty trick.

A trick used by online browsers to grab freebies and not give their real emails.

Although, the e.books had been downloaded but Jay couldn’t send any e.mails.

Jay is not the first to almost smash his laptop in frustration… in fact, let me tell you… I had been there too.

In my initial days of content marketing, I had started like Jay. Ignorant that most emails which are submitted are not genuine.

And I had acted in a similar way to Jay. Being joyful until reality hit me.

To rectify the problem, I had to do R&D. Understand single opt-in/double opt-in, and choose the best option.

It was not an easy task and took a lot of grinding. But I did manage to test and learn.

This post will help you avoid the mistakes which I did, unknowingly. And help you grow in email marketing.

Why is there such noise about email marketing?

Email marketing has one of the highest ROI’s in the online world. According to Smart Insights, the ROI is an average of $40 for every $1 spent.

No other form of marketing offers such high returns.

Email ROI
ROI from different marketing channels

Which sane entrepreneur wouldn’t want to invest in a medium which offers terrific returns?

Whether you’re into email marketing or content marketing, you should know this. If not, this post will help you strengthen your email campaigns. Build a faithful band of subscribers and give you sales and comfort.

Email marketing is one of the best online methods to get subscribers and convert them into customers.

But you cannot do it unless the visitor sign’s up. The sign-up process is usually done by a landing or a squeeze page.

Generally, as a content or email marketer, you offer some freebies as a lead magnet in exchange for the subscriber’s email id.

This email is vital to build your email list. With the email list, you can send emails to nurture, inform, educate, and finally offer them your product or service to buy.

As we can see, getting the correct email id forms the core strength of email marketing or content marketing efforts.

But as with all, single and double opt-ins have their share of merits and demerits.

I’m sure by the end of this article, you’ll be able to decide which opt-in works best for you and why.

Before we dive deep, let’s cover some basics.

What is an opt-in?

It’s a process by which a prospect wilfully shares their e.mail id.

They do not share this for free.

They do it in exchange for a freebie you are offering.

This freebie is a lead magnet.

A lead magnet’s name is what it does. It gets you leads.

Your visitors do not become leads till they share email id’s with you.

Once you have their emails id’s, It means they’re interested in what you are offering.

And giving you permission to contact them further by email.

This is the start of a great relationship and hopefully, a sale in the future.

What is single opt-in (SOI)?

By using single opt-in, visitors submit their email id’s on a landing or squeeze page and are instantly subscribed.

They are not required to confirm their e.mails. And you can start sending them emails right away.

Provided they shared their correct id with you.

By this, if you get a genuine e.mail id…Congratulations! You’re on your way to a terrific start to your email campaign.

Why I am saying here ‘If you get a genuine e.mail id’ is explained a few paras below.

What is double opt-in (DOI)?

Double opt-in or confirmed opt-in is a process by which subscribers validate their e.mail id’s which they submitted in the sign-up form.

They receive an email that they have to click and confirm that the id is indeed theirs.

The basic difference between the two opt-ins is like a door with a single lock and another with a double lock. Sure, the door with the double lock gives better security, but it comes at a cost.

This we will know soon.

What are the benefits of single opt-in?

The primary benefit of single opt-in is… it’s fast. With one click, subscribers hop onto your email list. They don’t have to wait for your email, to confirm their email id.

You can start nurturing them right away.

Single opt-in kills a lot of friction and unwanted submission form filling. This results in a higher percentage of opt-ins.

People don’t want to fill in too many details in a form – be it online or offline and single opt-in scores higher here.

Think of the door with the single key, they can enter right away by opening one lock.

Single opt-in results in higher engagement because it includes everyone who is likely to complete double opt-in.

What are the benefits of double opt-in?

Double opt-in scores over single opt-in when it comes to the security and sanctity of your email list.

Double opt-in ensures you have a more dedicated list of subscribers. These people take an extra effort to locate and click your confirmation request email. And be on your list.

They want to hear from you, learn, want you to solve their problems, and maybe buy from you.

These subscribers will rarely report your emails as spam, as they want to read your every email.

Remember, too many spam reports can hurt your sender reputation. This can also damage your email deliverability.

To put it on record, around 85% of the world’s total e.mail volume is spam.

Oh! Did I tell you email deliverability is a count of how many of your emails reach your subscriber’s inboxes?

Click on the above link if you want to know more about it.

Coming back to double opt-in, it gets you more accurate subscriber data. And you can be sure the people you will be mailing to are interested in you. What double opt-in ensures is quality rather than quantity.

What good are 10,000+ e.mail subscribers to you if they don’t want to hear from you?

Let quality be the deciding factor when it comes to your email list, rather than quantity.

Do single opt-ins have any drawbacks?

You bet there are.

The worst of them is fake email id’s. With single opt-in, there’s no way you can verify the authenticity of the IDs submitted.

This can put a serious dent in your email marketing or content marketing efforts.

You can go to sleep thinking you have thousands of subscribers whom you can start nurturing right away… but most of them might be fakes.

Many times, people just want to grab the freebies you offer and do not want to be contacted again.

They do this by submitting fake email id’s in the sign-up form.

This can also increase the cost of the email marketing tool you are using. With some tools, you get free service for a particular number of subscribers. After which the service becomes payable.

What happens is you are investing without getting any measurable returns.

Also, when your email to these fake id’s, they bounce and damage your sender’s reputation.

Are double opt-ins free from drawbacks?

Unfortunately no.

Let me explain.

People have become impatient nowadays. This is more true of online browsers. They have a tiny attention span and will not stop if it doesn’t interest them. Or if takes a long time to do.

This is true for double opt-in.

With this process, every eager prospect has to first submit their id’s in a sign-up. And then confirm their id’s by clicking on a successive email.

This can take time. And many would avoid this.

For example, would you stand in a queue two times for a single movie ticket? Definitely not. You just want to enjoy the movie and not waste time.

This happens for double opt-in too.

A slow growth rate of subscribers is another drawback with this opt-in. Some people find the two-step confirmation process tedious and abort it.

By this, your list of subscribers grows at a slow pace. Much slower than single opt-ins.

Many times, people simply forget to click on the confirmation email. Or it may land in the spam folder or any folder which they seldom open. This leads to a loss of genuine people who want to be your subscribers but can’t.

Many email marketing or content marketing strategies involve sending a ‘Thank You’ mail to subscribers after they confirm their emails.

This results in sending too many follow-up emails to new subscribers. It can be a bother to many who are interested in your emails but don’t want to receive too many.

This results in a costly loss to many brands. These companies can indeed benefit more if the extra step is removed.

Confused? Which to use?

There’s no clear answer to this. But a choice must be made. As the intent of every business at day’s end is to build subscribers and drive more sales.

Let’s recap the benefits and risks associated with each method, in short.

Single opt-in (SOI) is where new email addresses are added to your list without the owner requiring to confirm their authenticity. This is a one-step process which gets done quickly.

Double opt-in (DOI) is where a new subscriber must validate the authenticity of the email id with which they have used to subscribe. This is a two-step process which may work and takes time to complete.

Each has its merits and demerits as discussed above.

To conclude…

Taking a cue from we learnt, we can say SOI is not for you if:

Your email marketing tool requires double opt-in

You want authentic people and not the ones looking for freebies

Your industry requires you to validate every subscriber’s email before you start your campaign.

Similarly, DOI is not for you if:

You want fast growth of subscriber base without focusing on quality

You don’t want to lose potential customers by making them wait

You want subscribers to start reading your emails without a lengthy sign-up process

The debate goes on but in the end, it depends on you.

What strategy you want to adopt and grow your business.

If you want a filtered list or any email would do.

Whether you want to keep paying more to the email marketing tool or… want to limit your budget.

If you’re in a hurry or can wait till you have some genuine subscribers.

These answers you need to find out and select the method that’s best for you. Each has its merits and demerits. I have told you what each one does and how people use them.

And I know you are wise enough to make the best choice.