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.
Of course, sometimes it’s not so much overlooking it as not believing it. They don’t believe that they will not only not lose money, but will increase their return, by (re)confirming their mailing lists.
But if you look at it another way, reconfirming is actually culling those people who don’t want your email anyways.
People who don’t want your email cost you money every time you email them!
They do this in a number of ways, including by padding your mailing list size and thus your mailing needs, and by causing you to endure unnecessary complaints at the ISPs, which in turn impacts your email deliverability, so that you are unable to deliver your message to people who actually want your email and who would respond to your email.
A few years ago, when I was CEO of Habeas, I co-authored a paper on this very subject with MBA Glow Nair, previously VP at ISP iAsiaWorks, and currently a principal at Denahi Investments. In researching and writing this white paper, we concluded that:
A rigorous analysis of Confirmed Opt-In reveals its benefits and debunks the popular myths that surround Confirmed Opt-In. As direct marketing continues to evolve, Confirmed Opt-In will soon be the de-facto standard for mailing campaigns. This is due to a myriad of market factors including anti-spam measures, increased effectiveness and most importantly increased ROI. The Return On Investment for Confirmed Opt-In can be more than double that of Opt-In or Opt-Out. Confirmed Opt-In lists have several advantages including higher response rates, and higher effectiveness over multiple campaigns. Any increased cost of list acquisition should hence be amortized over multiple campaigns to get an accurate picture of ROI.
Marketers having non-confirmed Opt-In lists can benefit by converting to a Confirmed Opt-In model. Those making such a transition should familiarize themselves with the benefits of Confirmed Opt-In lists, and have a well thought out plan to take full advantage of the conversion. Direct email marketers seeking to optimize their Return on Investment while maintaining a stellar spam free reputation should strongly consider transitioning to a Confirmed Opt-In method of email campaigns.
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