battle-optinsHey there!

When comes the time to build your list, we’ve all asked ourselves this question: should I ask for a confirmation of the email or not? I’ll admit it, my first lists were single optins as I wanted to get a maximum number of people on my list 🙂

When you don’t know anything about list building it’s very tempting to say, let’s go with single optin (that means no confirmation) because some people will never confirm and that way we won’t loose them.

The reality is that you are potentially getting yourself into a lot of trouble. There are places where single optin is ok, but certainly not when you are building a list of leads from people you don’t know already.

Let’s go over the pros and cons, and I think you’ll get back I mean.

Single optin PROS:

– you’ll get more people in your list
– (can’t think of another one 🙂 )

Single optin CONS:

– your list will be targeted by spam and you’ll get a whole bunch of emails that look like non-human (cause they are not), so those are dead leads anyway
– your list can be flagged as spammy because you have a number of spam emails in your list that autoresponder systems know about and they don’t like that
– you can get into trouble with your autoresponder service if you ask them to send email to spam emails, it will hurt their deliverability rates and they don’t like that
– bottom line you can get kicked out of the autoresponder and lose your list (I have seen it happen more than once)

It’s ok however to use single optin when you are entering people that you already know from another list into a new list. For example if you do an internal launch of a product to your current list, you might ask them to signup to receive your pre-launch content, they don’t need to confirm their email address for that since you know them already and only people that are already on your list will get this invite.

Double optin PROS:

– you know that the person on the other side is human and owns that email address so you can start a real relationship with them
– you know that the people that are on your list are interested by what you have to offer as they went through the extra step for looking for your confirmation email and clicking on a link to get to your list

Double optin CONS:

– you’ll have less people on your list (but they’ll be real)
– you will miss people that are interested but did not understand/see the confirmation email: there is a way to work around that by making your thank you page be very specific, telling them that there is one more step and show them an example of the email they are about to receive.

So if you were still debating between single option/double optin, you now have a good understanding of the consequences. You know by now that when it comes to list, size does not matter. What matters is the quality of your list and the relationship you build with them, making sure that they are real humans that are interested in what you have to offer.

Now I’d like to hear from you, what list strategy are you using? single optin? double optin? Leave a comment below and let me know what you are using and why!

Nathalie