Double Opt In – a malady for marketers that many people are unaware of. It’s incredibly dangerous, if you use double opt in you essentially destroy the efficacy of your email signup program for no reason.
But I suppose I should start at the start – what the heck is double opt in anyway?
As you probably know people roam the web and they sign up for things. We like these people, we call them prospects.
Sometimes these people get upset and unhappy about advertising – aka the thing that in fact pays for everything they enjoy.
So someone came up with this idea that after site visitors signed up for an email list they should have to sign up again to be absolutely certain there was no way anyone ever got subscribed by mistake – and that’s double opt in.
I’ll bet you already know that website visitors kind of suck at doing things.
And that is the trouble with double opt in – the rate at which people actually successfully sign up.
Let’s pause for a moment and say that double opt does prevent people from getting things they don’t want. But it also prevents oodles of people that do want your stuff from getting it – and who exactly do you care about anyway?
(Please remember this publication is for Internet Entrepreneurs who sell things online, if you don’t sell things online I’d recommend generally ignoring most of what I have to say.)
For awhile people thought double opt in was going to be the law – it isn’t the law and never will be.
Every time I show a marketer the conversion rate facts it is such fun – and so now I happily show them to you.
When we talk conversion rates you have to adjust by industry – people that sell flowers think 30% is normal, people that sell office supplies think 10% is normal, and most “retailers” are thrilled with 2%.
So suppose you developed a landing page to get emails that had a solid bit of content and a nice offer.
Let’s assume that page is running at a 1% conversion rate.
So you need 100 visitors to get a signup.
Now take that page and go double opt in and watch the end result with 10,000 visitors…..
10,000 Visits x 1% = 100 first round emails.
100 Confirmations x 80% = 80 emails.
If you didn’t use double how often would people typically complain they didn’t in fact sign up? About 1/1000 emails – a tiny tiny number.
Have you ever noticed how many sites tell people to ‘check their inbox’ and that they ‘aren’t quite done’ – that’s why.
About 20% of the action is lost in double opt – so you end up with 80 emails instead of 100.
Let’s talk about those 20 people. Do you really think it was worth it that they all failed to get something they actually wanted to “protect” one person ?
Here’s the bottom line for Internet Entrepreneurs: while there are circumstances where double opt is appropriate the cash loving executive should seek to kill double opt in every time they have the chance.
And so we lovingly say – Die Double Opt In Die.