What To Do With Your Confirmation Message

You hear it’s part of “best practices” in email marketing. ISPs refer to it as an “industry standard”. It can also help you avoid blocklists and increase deliverability. It’s called “confirmed opt-in”.

Using confirmed opt-in helps ensure you have real subscribers who are interested in what you’re offering. The stumbling block for most people is creating a confirmation message that gets the subscriber to confirm.

The confirmation is a crucial step in the subscriber sign up process. To help you out, we have a couple of examples that demonstrate how you can approach this.


Where the Confirmation Message Fits In

The confirmation message is sent immediately after a subscriber is added to your list. Once it’s sent, the subscriber needs to:

1. Open the message. If the subscriber doesn’t open the email, they won’t get the link to confirm. Make sure you have a customized subject line that will let your subscriber know they need to take action.

2. Click to confirm. If the subscriber doesn’t click on the confirmation link, they won’t be able to receive any more messages.

Customized Confirmation Messages You Can Learn From

Confirmation Message: Moving subscribers into a new list

If you have a list of subscribers you have already been in contact with, you will need to import them in your new list. The subscribers will need to confirm to remain on your list, so your confirmation message could look something like Science North’s:

What should I do if I’m adding a list of my current subscribers?

  • Be open with your subscribers. Explain why they are getting a confirmation message, especially if they were unaware a move was going to happen. Marketing transparently will build subscribers’ trust in you.
  • Emphasize that if they still want to be on your list, they will need to confirm. If they’re still a subscriber, they’re most likely still enjoying your emails. Make sure they realize they need to take action.

Confirmation Message: Subscribers coming in from web form

If subscribers are going to your site and filling out a form, your confirmation message could look something like The Bee Folks’:

What should I do for subscribers coming in through my form?

  • Ensure they realize they requested this information. Make sure your from name matches what is on the site so the subscriber can easily recognize your message.
  • Get their interest so they want to confirm. You can encourage them to confirm by reminding them of the incentive or content you promised them.

Another Way to Optimize the Confirmation Process

You’ve customized the confirmation message, but the sign-up process is still not as smooth as you’d like. Back up a bit, and look at what the subscriber will see before the confirmation message: your thank you page.

After the subscriber fills out the web form, they’re immediately directed to a thank you page. You can make this page a custom page with detailed instructions.

Use the thank you page to:

  • add you to their address book.
  • Show what the confirmation message will look like and point out what they’ll need to click. This can be done by taking a screen shot and using an image editing program like Skitch or GIMP to mark up the image.

You also have the option to use the Smart Video Thank You Page. This is an AWeber-hosted page that’s customized with your logo and plays a video with an example of how your confirmation message may look to your subscriber in their inbox.

How Do You Get People to Confirm?

What have you done to your confirmation message and sign up process to ensure subscribers know what to do and are compelled to take action?


  1. locspoc

    6/6/2011 6:04 pm

    Changing the subject line is quite a difficult and frustrating process, even when I choose a subject line that is already listed as one of the default ones… And when I come back a few days later it always seems to revert back to the original subject line. The process for changing needs to be made easier / better.

  2. Crystal Gouldey

    6/7/2011 9:16 am

    When you type out your subject line in the field that allows you to create your own, that subject will need to go through manual review. If a subject line is not approved, it will revert back to one of the default ones.

    You can use the drop down to select one of our subject lines, but if you set up a custom subject make sure it references a request for information and tells the subscriber they need to confirm.

    You might also want to check out our knowledge base article.

  3. locspoc

    6/7/2011 12:18 pm

    I don’t even write my own subject lines, I just use one of the default ones “Response Required: Please confirm your request for information” usually it doesn’t even get approved. Why is it necessary to manually approve a pre-defined subject line? And why does it not get approved?

  4. Crystal Gouldey

    6/9/2011 8:40 am

    The pre-defined subject lines do not go through manual review as long as you’re just using the drop down to select them and not typing them out in the custom field.

    If you’re still seeing an issue with this, please get in contact with our Customer Solutions Team.

  5. Losing Subscribers? 3 Ways to Keep Them From Leaving!

    7/6/2011 8:10 am

    […] previous blog post included examples of effective confirmation messages, so you can take a look at those before you […]

  6. Losing Subscribers? 3 Ways to Keep Them From Leaving!

    7/6/2011 8:10 am

    […] previous blog post included examples of effective confirmation messages, so you can take a look at those before you […]

  7. Lauren

    9/2/2011 5:54 pm

    What is the average conversion rate on confirmation emails?

    We’ve applied many of the helpful tips we’ve found here on Aweber, but I’m still frustrated when I see Confirmation emails left pending on the list. I can’t figure out if I am being too hard on myself or if we need to continue to tweak it. What amount is to be expected?

  8. Crystal Gouldey

    9/6/2011 9:00 am

    There isn’t an average conversion rate (unfortunately) because conversions will depend on your industry, target audience, offer, etc. The idea of the confirmation message is to filter out bad email addresses and the people who aren’t truly interested in being on your mailing list. While it may be frustrating to see those unconfirmed people on your list, you have to ask yourself how valuable they would have been if they can’t bother to confirm.

    If you’re tired of tweaking the confirmation message, try running a split test on your web form. Make sure you clearly explain what’s in it for the subscriber and what they’ll need to do to start getting your emails.

  9. Michael

    4/5/2014 10:56 am

    Do I really need to have a confirmation page? We’re offering customers who give us their email address a 10% discount coupon. Even if they give us a bogus address, they’re going to use their real address if they place an order. And when they do, I get the real address anyway. The confirmation process just seems like an extra hoop to make them jump through. It’s kind of a hassle. Is there a way to turn it off on Aweber? Thanks.