Confirmed Opt-In: Help Your Subscribers Confirm
I took a support call recently where the customer was concerned about using Confirmed Opt-In with her subscribers. She remarked at one point:
“My subscribers aren’t web-savvy, and they don’t know what double opt-in means.”
She brings up a good point: language that is understood among one group of people (in this example, senders of opt-in email) may not be understood by another group (such as your subscribers).
When telling your subscribers that they need to click a link in the confirm email, your wording will affect your confirm rate.
The challenge — to explain to your subscribers what happens after they submit their email address in your signup form — sounds daunting, but it’s really quite manageable.
Get In Your Subscribers’ Shoes
Let’s assume that I’m your subscriber. I’ve just signed up on your site. You’ve now sent me your confirm email.
What is it, really, that I need to do?
- Check my email
- Open a message from you
- Click on a link in it
Seems simple enough. But that doesn’t mean that’s the best way to explain it.
Think about it this way: as your subscriber, what do I achieve by doing this?
- I activate my subscription, validate my download request, or complete my e-course registration
- I confirm (to myself as well as you) that I can receive your emails (and that I want to)
(There are many possible goals that I may have by clicking that link; these are only a few examples)
Yes, you are sending them the confirm email to ensure that only people who requested your information receive it, and to prevent yourself from sending spam. However, your subscribers may or may not care about that.
Focus on what they do care about, whether it’s a newsletter, a download, an e-course… or whatever else it may be. Word your thank-you page, and your confirm email, so that they address your subscribers’ goals.
Take Advantage of Technology
While your subscribers may read and understand The Wall Street Journal from end-to-end, they’re not going to read your thank-you page as attentively as they do that or any newspaper. This isn’t any sort of fault on your part; people simply don’t read and absorb Web pages the same way they do print media.
The flipside of this is that you’re not bound by the same restrictions that print media is — you can add any of the following to your thank-you page to tell your subscribers about your confirm email:
- color pictures (such as one of the message in their inbox)
- bold, italicized and underlined text (in any color/s you want)
- audio and/or video (telling and/or showing them what they need to do)
There’s not one “perfect” way to make a thank-you page or word a confirm email. It’s a process that should be tested and improved regularly.
What I hope is that my comments here get you to take a look at your own subscribe and confirm processes… maybe what’s clear to you isn’t as clear as it could be for your subscribers.