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Confirmation messages are those messages that best-practices practicing email senders send to people who sign up for their mailing lists, to confirm that the person really wants to be on the mailing list – before they get added to the mailing list. The problem is, some email senders see confirmation messages as a place to slip in a little advertising.

This is a bad practice.


First of all, confirmation emails are used to confirm that the recipient really wants to receive your messages. Slipping your {marketing | sales | corporate} message in there before you have confirmed that they really want it is like slopping ketchup on your customer’s eggs before confirming that they really want it. In both cases it will lose you more customers than it can possibly convert.

But more importantly, it changes the nature of your email from truly being confirmed (double) opt-in, which is, again, best practices, to really being “take one bite at the apple and they can confirm opt-in for more.” A much shorter way to say that is “single opt-in.”

Also, real spammers do this. In fact, they use the confirmation email as a vehicle to carry their spam message. And that is another reason to not do it. Because it makes you look like a spammer, and makes your email look like spam. And not just to the recipients, but to the ISPs and spam filters, who will block it.

So remember to keep your confirmation messages separate from your marketing or other messages, and resist the temptation to “slip one in there.” If they really want your messages they will confirm and get on your mailing list.

And if they don’t really want your messages, they sure aren’t going to be converted by a cheap shot like trying to sell them before they even agree to hearing what you have to say. Think about it this way: have you ever purchased something from a telemarketer who left their sales pitch on your answering machine?

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One response

  1. Amen and Amen again!!!! I really dislike it when this happens to me. Another thing I really don’t like…. being upsold on a confirmation order email. Yeah, I bought from you. Can’t you just say THANK YOU and call it good? Must you try to sell me more before I’ve even had a chance to download and read what you’ve already sold me? Big red flag that someone does not really care about me but only my debit card. Know what I mean?

    With smiles,

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