Any internet marketer that wants to utilize email based newsletter lists to stay connected with their readers and customers needs to know about opt in email marketing. Anybody can simply collect email addresses and then attempt to advertise to them. However, that type of practice is considered spam and is not a reliable or recommend way to build newsletter subscribers.
If it isn’t Opt in, It’s Just Spam.
Opt in email marketing requires marketers to explicitly get permission from someone else to add them to their mailing list. People that are only concerned with trying to make a quick buck will see this as a barrier to being able to make money, but this requirement for email marketers actually helps to ensure that work is not wasted.
When people are collecting email addresses and spamming them with advertisements, they are really only harming themselves. A lot of hard work is typically necessary to start a good newsletter, not to mention that time that is required to maintain it by continually sending out new emails. Even if spammers can generate some earnings, they may be seized by the affiliate network because sending advertisements by email without permission is against the terms of service with almost any program.
How does Opt in Email Marketing Work?
Typically, newsletter lists are controlled by an autoresponder that automatically sends out emails in a structured manner defined by the list owner. The most common way to get someone to opt in to join one of these newsletters as a subscriber is for them to fill out a form on a website, although some email marketing software may allow addresses to be manually added.
In general, manually added addresses would not be considered to be opt in subscribers unless their request to join the newsletter could be verified some other way. Some brick and mortar businesses may collect hand written email addresses from their customers, so this particular situation would be one instance where manually added emails could still be considered opt in subscriptions.
The form that site visitors fill out can ask for a variety of information, but the most commonly requested information is their name and email address. At the very least the email address must be collected, but some list owners may want to get additional information from their subscribers.
While most list owners want to know as much about their subscribers as possible, any extra information beyond the email address and possibly the name will reduce the number of people that are actually willing to complete the opt in subscription process. For this reason, most people running newsletters will ask for a minimal amount of information up front just to get them subscribed.
What is Double Opt in?
The same newsletter subscription processed that was already described can be taken another step for list owners who take the privacy of their readers seriously. This extra step is known as double opt in confirmation, and it requires the newsletter subscriber to take an additional confirmation step to verify that they actually requested to join the list.
When an email is added to a double opt in autoresponder, either manually or through a website form, it will automatically send a confirmation email to the new subscriber. This email will contain a link that they will need to click to verify their request to join.
The extra step required for double opt in confirmation is necessary to use a number of the best email marketing services, like Aweber. It also helps to ensure that less of their emails get flagged as spam. With single opt in, anybody can wildly enter email addresses into a sign up form. Double opt in email marketing confirms that the same person who filled out the form is the person on the other end of the email account, and it verifies that the email address being used actually exists.
The Benefits of Double Opt in Email Marketing
With ever growing concerns about email spam resulting in new company policies across the internet and also new laws for various countries, double opt in email marketing is essentially an insurance policy for email marketers. If their subscription processed was ever questioned, having physical proof that double opt in confirmation was obtained is essential to avoiding potentially major legal trouble.
Even with legalities ignored, list owners will benefit from better email delivery and more responsive readers. If it is unknown whether an email address really exists or not, an autoresponder system will continually bombard non-existent accounts with mailings. As this occurs over time, it can easily result in the sending address being automatically flagged as spam with particular email service providers.
By ensuring a reader has requested to join a newsletter and that their provided email is real, it limits the list to only mail people who are truly interested in the newsletter. While some people may just want to have a lot of subscribers, it is really more important to have responsive and loyal subscribers, even if there are less of them.
When a marketer knows that they have obtained high-quality subscribers, they can use campaign statistics to successfully gauge the effectiveness of their newsletters. Services and software will typically track both opening rates of emails and the click through rates of links in them.
Sales conversion tracking is also available with many of these services, so marketers can actually determine how much money is made per subscriber from each mail sent. Armed with this type of information, marketers can figure out the best way to advertise to their readers. Invasive and still ineffective advertising strategies can be avoided while the effective, profitable methods can be repeated for continued success.