When we are told by just about everybody that there should be no barriers to subscribers getting onto your email marketing list, there is something frighteningly counter-intuitive about the double opt-in. This is when you require a customer to confirm their initial subscription.
It doesn’t take an awful lot of working out to realise that the second check will give you a lower number of subscribers to your email marketing list. So why should anyone propose it? Well, I’ll tell you why.
If all of your subscribers come via the internet where they have to tick a box to positively request being put on your lists, then the ‘double opt-in’ will probably not be required. However if you undertake campaigns to obtain more subscribers and use such means as trade fairs, over-the-counter sign-ins, and perhaps call takers suggesting it when customers phone for other reasons, then it has a purpose.
If you incentivise your staff to collect these email addresses, even if only to note it in their staff reports, then there will be a temptation for them to pressurise people to sign. There is also a temptation, should the incentive be high enough, to cheat a little.
On top of that handwriting can be extremely difficult to interpret, even if you have had the good sense to prepare a printed form with more than ample room for even the largest writing.
In these circumstances there is a risk that you might be sending marketing emails to people who have no real desire for them. One or two is no particular problem in all probability but once the numbers mount so does the risk of your emails being classed as spam by the receivers and complaints being made.
A double opt-in for those subscribers to your email marketing list who have been obtained in such a manner protects you and also shows your new customers that you do things properly. Ensure that those who take such details across the counter or on the phone, etc. inform those who sign up that they will receive an email just to check.
A way to ensure that correct details are taken is to say that any reward is dependent on the person confirming their subscription on the check email.