One of the decisions you will have to make when setting up an autoresponder list is whether to require a new subscriber to “confirm” their opt in or just automatically add a new opt in to your list.
In the case of the confirmed opt in, this is where the new opt in would have to open an email sent to them by the autoresponder service, read that they have “subscribed” to something, and then you hope they will click the link below in that email to confirm they really, really want to subscribe to your list.
In the alternative, once they enter their email address and click submit, they would automatically be added to your email list and would immediately be sent your first follow-up message from the autoresponder.
There are good reasons for either approach.
Today, I am going to focus on the end result.
I was in a coaching call and looking through the client’s autoresponder. At a glance, it looked like a nice sized list of subscribers.
I looked at follow-up messages and broadcasts that had been sent. I wanted to check out the open rate and the click rate. Something jumped out at me.
I forget the actual number but, for sake of this discussion, let’s say that for a list of about 285 subscribers only 28 emails had been sent. This was odd. So, naturally, the open rate was very low.
Upon closer inspection of the subscribers, I noticed most had a note beside their names indicating “waiting for confirmation”.
A quick check of the list settings confirmed what I suspected. The opt in option had been set to “confirmed opt in”, meaning the person who had submitted their email address in exchange for that which had been promised, never completed the confirmation process and had not received any of the follow-up and broadcast messages the client had taken the time to send out.
Worse was realizing that the client had paid for traffic. Traffic was delivered to his webform at a cost of so many cents per click, yet of those who decided to opt in, most of these never clicked that confirmation link in the email sent by the autoresponder. So, none of the marketing messages that had been sent to this list, ever reached the intended recipients who had not confirmed or double opted in.
This means the actual cost per subscriber just went way up since he paid for all the clicks delivered to his form, then a certain percentage opted in, but then most did not confirm the opt in and therefore never were added to his list where they could be emailed.
A couple of quick lessons here. Check your list settings, check your open rates, bounces, complaints, etc. While doing this, also take a look at the number of emails sent for each message. If there are substantially fewer emails sent than the number of subscribers on the lists you selected for delivery, then look further into why.
There is no one size that fits all. For every rule, there can be multiple exceptions.
I would like to hear from YOU and whether you use the confirmed opt in or not, and your reasons why or why not.