Why Double Opt-in Mass Email Makes Sense

Ensuring your mass emails have permission

Permission is the key to successful, responsible mass email marketing. It's vital to ensure that everyone on your list has actively chosen to subscribe. By implementing a double opt-in subscription process, you can make certain that every single person you add to your list has given you their permission to do so. With a single opt-in process, a new subscriber is only required to submit their email address. Double opt-in, also called confirmed opt-in, adds a second step: an email is sent to the address the subscriber has provided, requesting confirmation that the owner of that address really did submit it and still wants to sign up. Only once the subscription has been confirmed will your mass emails start to be sent out to the new address. While single opt-in works tolerably well most of the time, mass email systems relying on it are vulnerable to errors and abuse. Email addresses may be misspelled; addresses may be submitted by someone other than the owner, either in good faith or with malicious intent. Pranksters or competitors may sign up and then complain to your mass email service provider that you've been sending unsolicited bulk mail. In extreme cases, multiple email addresses may be "fed" to a single opt-in form with the intent of causing serious problems for the list owner. A double opt-in system prevents these things. Misspelled addresses simply won't be confirmed. If someone's address is submitted without their knowledge, they'll only receive the confirmation request and not all your future mass emails. If a contact claims they didn't opt in, you'll have a record to show that they did. Most mass email software systems include double opt-in functionality. If you outsource to an ESP, you may find they actively prefer clients to use double opt-in and will facilitate implementation.