When you set up your signup form for your autoresponder, you usually have a choice of single opt-in which is also called unconfirmed opt-in and double opt-in which is also called confirmed opt-in. Let’s make sure you understand the difference and you know which one you should use.
Single opt-in means there is no confirmation email. Someone comes to you to your webpage, you offer them a free gift. They type in their name and email address, and their immediately redirected to that free gift. And, they are also immediately placed on your email subscriber list. The problem with this is that any person can type in any email address and that person will be added to your list but someone was playing a joke and adding someone else to your autoresponder.
The alternative is double opt-in which is where someone needs to confirm to receive the gift. They come to your site, they see they want the gift. They type in their first name, their email address, they click send but instead of receiving the gift right away they are shown a message that says to check their email inbox for a confirmation link. They go to their email program, they get the mail. They see that message and they have to click on a very special link to get redirected to the gift. And now, and only now are they placed on your list of email subscribers.
The advantage to this is that you have a cleaner list and you can prove basically that anyone who chose to join actually does have control over that email account. But the problem with this is that it’s a very confusing process for someone to take. Before they filled in a form and clicked the gift, now they fill in the form, check their email, click a link and finally, collect the gift and there are many places where you could lose them. They might not think to check their email. They might check their email and the confirmation message does not appear right away.
A number of things can happen but either way you should give people something to do while they wait. Which means that if you have a single opt-in and unconfirmed process, give them the download gift but afterwards send them to your sales letter where they can possibly buy something. If you have a double opt-in, instead of showing them the usual “check your email and confirm your opt-in message,” send them to your sales letter with a box at the top saying “Check your email to confirm your subscription.” That way they always end up no matter what at your sales letter, there is no dead end.
Now comes the question, should you use single unconfirmed opt-in or double confirmed opt-in, And, the answer is use single opt-in whenever possible because it’s easier on your subscribers and you’ll build a list faster that way. Remember that most autoresponders will handle email bounces which means if someone types in a fake email address, it would automatically remove that. And, all emails come with an unsubscribe link and keeps a record of the IP address and location where someone joined your list. That way even if someone places a spam complaint, you can prove that someone somewhere joined your list.