How to get “double opt-in” for direct marketing email

The use of double opt-in for a mailing list both protects you and boosts ROI. It protects you because it reminds customers that you are one of the “third parties” from which they have agreed to receive email. And it boosts ROI because your subsequent mailings, to those who have confirmed opt-in, will be focused on an ideal list: Prospects who are interested in your product or service and likely to recognize your name and brand.

Here are two proven tactics for getting opt-in mailing list names to double opt-in to receive future email:

  • Send an introductory email to your list talks about all the future benefits people will receive once they confirm their sign-up by replying to the email. (“Don’t miss out! You’ll be the first to know about sales and new products…”)
  • Send an introductory email offering a specific discount or preview when recipients confirm their opt-in by email. (“Let us know you’re interested, and we’ll send you a coupon for free shipping…”)

Both emails should start by reminding recipients of their original opt-in, and thanking them for their interest.

A third double opt-in tactic, described by the MailChimp blog, involves sending an introductory email (such as those described above) but asking the recipient to click through to your site to confirm instead of replying by email.

Some direct mail marketers use the click-through method because it enables them to see the visitor’s IP address. If they store this information, along with the date and time of the visit, they can confirm that a recipient has completed double opt-in and they can protect themselves from being accused of (or blacklisted for) spamming.

However, keep in mind that if you are using a rented list for email marketing, your recipients gave their initial opt-in to receive offers from third-party sites. This means that you (as one of those third parties) would probably be asking them to visit a site they don’t necessarily recognize. Some people may be wary of clicking through, and would be more willing to send an email reply for double opt-in.

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