It has long been held that using double opt-in for subscribers to your email marketing list is the best way to ensure you have quality rather than quantity with addresses. While it might, in fact probably does, reduce the size of your list, it ensures that those on it are genuine subscribers and, more importantly perhaps, you can depend on the data you receive.
Many of those new to online purchases, and email marketing in particular, might be confused by the requirement as it probably seems at first sight to be counter intuitive. It’s as if you don’t want them to subscribe. It is best, therefore, to have a system whereby you reassure your new subscribers, and not only let them know they will be receiving a request to confirm their subscription, but also to tell them why. Not only that, we can use the opportunity to build on their trust in us.
Clutter on the sign-up page is something to be avoided as it can deflect attention at a critical time; they are giving you their personal details so will probably have one or two concerns, especially if they are new to the process. You need to be clear and precise. On the other hand, the double opt-in informs them, either directly or by implication depending on your wording, that you treat their data as something special. You need to take care though. Don’t over-egg the reassurance as nothing sounds less sincere than someone saying, ‘I mean that most sincerely’.
That leaves us with a bit of a problem. There is much in the press and online about ‘cyber-attacks’ and ransomware. Anyone with any sense will be concerned. I’ve recently had an email address compromised, one that I use for subscribing to email marketing list for research purposes, and I’m very careful. Saying that ‘we treat your information as carefully as we treat our own’ might not convince, so push the fact that the double opt-in is just one of your process to ensure that you conform to the GDPR.
As always, the confirmatory email should be sent promptly. I prefer the click-through changing to something like ‘Thank-you’ or ‘Your subscription is confirmed’ rather than a separate email. You don’t want to overwhelm their in-box.
If you used a lead magnet when seeking subscribers to your email marketing list, send it to them promptly. Given that many of your new subscribers could also be new to online purchasing, it might be helpful if you also explain your processes, and what they can expect, especially as regards to frequency. I feel reassured by companies which allow me to pick how often I receive their emails.
Some companies use the gift email to include a more in-depth questionnaire, covering a number of preferences and what devices they use, et cetera. Whatever works for you. Or rather, for them. Tell them that the email address you used is the one that will be displayed when they get their first marketing email. Be friendly, be chatty, and be yourself.