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What Is The Difference Between Single versus Double Opt-In?

Email Marketing (Features & Terms)

Single versus Double Opt-In

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Opt-in status refers to the consent/permission given by the subscriber in relation to their privacy and willingness to be contacted in the future.

A double-opt in involves an extra confirmation step taken by the subscriber granting permission to be contacted in the future.

Here is a breakdown of the opt-in process:

Single opt-in

The subscriber enters the email address in an opt-in box and is immediately added to the email database of the receiving person, business, or entity. The subscriber starts receiving email messages.

Double opt-in

The subscriber enters the email address in an opt-in box. The subscriber then receives a confirmation email asking to click on a link to confirm their subscription.

  • If the subscriber clicks on the link, they are added to the email database of the receiving person or entity. They will start receiving email messages.
  • If the subscriber fails to click on the confirmation link, they are not added to the subscriber database and do not receive any other email messages in the future.

The single versus double opt-in could also be thought of in terms of implicit versus explicit permission.

A single opt-in implicitly considers someone who opts-in as providing permission to be contacted in the future.

The extra step in the double opt-in process can be thought of as providing explicit permission to be contacted via email in the future.

Permission marketing

Entrepreneur Seth Godin coined the term Permission Marketing.

It is based on the idea that a person will be more engaged with your brand and your messages if they have actively expressed an interest in receiving information from you by providing you explicit permission to do so.

The double opt-in provides this form of explicit permission.

Here is an excerpt from the blog post by Seth Godin introducing Permission Marketing:

“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.”

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