We've heard a lot about whitelisting and blacklisting, but many are unfamiliar with the term "greylisting" and, to a lesser extent, "rate limiting." Greylisting and rate limiting are two additional but lesser used methods which some ISPs may employ to attempt to deal with spam and/or a sudden influx of bulk email.
While we know that there are obvious missteps to avoid when ensuring that your email is not marked as spam, there are some commonly overlooked practices, or lack thereof, that can still cause a legitimate email to be marked as such. One of the biggest mistakes that a well-intentioned organization can make is to not properly manage new subscribers.
We wanted to do a mid-year check-in to remind you to make sure that your emailing practices are staying in tip-top shape, and that your email marketing campaigns were minding their p's and q's to ensure maximum deliverability.
There are many examples of when you can do something, but perhaps shouldn't, and nowhere is this more evident (and prevalent) then in what is permissable under CAN-SPAM. For purposes of this article, in particular, we are going to talk about adding a customer's email address to your marketing mailing list without asking them first.
We are often asked by volume email senders just why we urge people to use confirmed opt-in (or "double opt-in") whenever possible. After all, they know that they are being ethical and only adding to their mailing lists people whom they believe really want their mailings. Why should they have to go through the added "hassle" of using confirmed opt-in? Here's why.
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If you are not sure about the exact definitions of the various levels of opt-in when it comes to building email marketing lists or other types of email lists, here is a quick review of what each of them mean. Because there is some confusion about what each of them means, especially where one method of list-building may have more than one name, we've created this resource explaining the generally accepted definitions of Double Opt-In, Confirmed Opt-In (COI), Single Opt-In, Opt-In, Opt-Out, and Transactional email for you.  These are the definitions that the inbox providers, ISPs, and spam filters use, and so it's important for you, as an email sender, to know them.
The title of this article, "Not all double- or confirmed opt-in requires a confirmation email" may seen at first like an oxymoron. But it's not.
Many email senders are reluctant to move existings lists to a confirmed opt-in (sometimes called "double opt-in") model for fear of losing many of their existing users, and reducing the size of their mailing lists. When called upon to confirm or reconfirm a mailing list - say, for example, when moving their mailing list to a new email service provider (ESP) - they balk, and will even go to a second tier ESP that doesn't require reconfirmation. The reason is always the same: "We don't want to lose a portion of our users." But what these senders overlook is that they actually will improve - sometimes dramatically improve - the responsiveness of their mailing lists - and the financial return that they receive from those lists. In fact, we have the email deliverability white paper to prove it.
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