How Good Can Your Confirm Rate Be?

Something a little different for Friday:

We get a lot of people asking what a “good” confirm rate is — out of everyone who signs up to your list, what proportion will open the confirm message and click on the link to activate their subscription to your list?

So, I thought I’d share some of our own results, from our own blog’s email subscribers.

Confirm Rate For Past 30 Days: 78.1%

Click For Full-Size ChartOver the past month, between three-quarters and four-fifths of addresses entered into a signup form for the blog confirmed.

At right is a chart showing the breakdown (active, unsubscribed, unconfirmed). (Click on it to get a full-size version.)

When you consider that right off the bat, 5-20% of addresses entered into web forms bounce (due to typos or to people intentionally entering invalid addresses), this is arguably pretty high.

Now, we have a signup form on every page of our blog. But this doesn’t mean addresses that sign up on each of those various pages are all equally likely to confirm. If we drill down to specific groups of subscribers, we may be able to gain even more insight into what affects our confirm rate.

But Is That Rate Even Higher For Certain Subscribers?

In our web form webinar, Marc and I suggest trying out signup forms at the end of blog posts to capitalize on visitors who are interested enough in a post to read to the end of it.

I wanted to see whether or not people signing up through that kind of form were more apt to confirm than others. I took as an example our recent article, “Six Ways to Screw Up A Customer Email” and looked at the subscribers who signed up through the form at the end of that post.

I found that over 86% of people signing up through that form confirmed!

I attribute this to the fact that after reading the article and finding the content compelling and relevant to their interests, they were especially likely to want to get other email marketing advice like that article. They’re especially engaged and so are more likely to confirm.

If You Think Our Confirm Rates Are High…

Let me throw a couple of ideas your way for increasing your own confirm rate, based on what we’re doing on this blog.

An Informed Audience: If you don’t make it 100% clear to people, before they sign up, what it is that they’re signing up for, then they’re going to make their own assumptions. If those assumptions are at all wrong, they’re not going to confirm.

Make it clear to people what they’re getting when they sign up.

Clear Instructions: Tell subscribers — better yet, show them — what they need to do to activate their subscription. Video on the thank-you page has worked well for us. So has telling subscribers to whitelist, since that’s the address we send from.
Provide A Little Extra: On our Thank You page, we sweeten the deal by offering them a free copy of our Email Deliverability Guide in exchange for confirming. Now, our subscribers have yet another incentive to confirm!

What Has Worked Well For You?

What tactics have you used to maximize your confirm rate? Share them below!