Double Or Single Optin: Which Is Better?

If you’re building a list and you should be, you usually have to choose between your subscribers having to confirm their subscription (opt-in) or not.

There is much debate between marketers about which is better. But let’s first have a look at the pros and cons of each option… 

Double Opt-in subscribers…

… Have to confirm their subscription by clicking a link in a confirmation email which means the email address they used is a valid one and not a fake or throwaway one. A fake email address will never receive any follow ups and a throwaway one is generally used by people who very rarely if ever check that inbox.

Pros of Double Optin:

Because the subscriber has used a genuine email address the chances of further engagement are greater.

If you use an email service provider like Aweber you will pay them per the number of subscribers you have. Having only genuine subscribers means you are not paying a fee for dead email addresses.

Cons of Double Optin:

It is one extra step for your subscribers to do before they access the content you provide. This can result in customers not bothering or forgetting to confirm their subscription or the confirmation email may go in their spam folder.

It can be off putting and seem a little spammy for a customer to receive many emails when they first sign up. If you send a confirmation email followed by a welcome email and that is quickly followed by your first offering of content then this could put some off remaining a subscriber.

Single Op-in subscribers…

… Only have to submit their email once for immediate access to your content. No need for them to confirm their email address.

Pros of Single Optin:

You have no worries about your subscriber forgetting to confirm their email address or that they miss your confirmation email because of spam. Single optin subscribers are added immediately to your list.

You can immediately follow up with them and not have to wait for them to confirm.

Cons of Single Optin:

There WILL be sign ups using fake emails if you offer your content immediately.

Even if a subscriber doesn’t use a fake email they could miss type their address and it would still join your list.

Major email service providers recommend double optin to ensure you get the best service they can provide.

Some countries have laws about privacy that will mean you must use double optin when offering your content to them.

In Conclusion:

Whichever method you use is down to personal choice and now you know some of the pros and cons for each method you are better armed to decide.

If you are selling something on platforms like JVZoo for example, you can integrate the major email players in to your product and therefore single optin should be fine as people don’t use fake email addresses when buying things.

If you are using a squeeze page with a free offer to attract subscribers, then it might be best to use double optin to eliminate dead emails. If they can’t be bothered to confirm their email they are hardly likely to become a paying customer and you don’t really want to pay a monthly fee for non-existent email addresses.

Happy list building!

Stuart Stirling

Santa’s Top List Building Tips

Merry Christmas, for a couple of days ago!

I love this time of year, mainly for the giving and receiving of presents and being able to spend a happy time chilling with my family.

As you probably know, Santa Claus has perhaps the biggest “list” this side of the moon!

Santa

He’s actually an amazing direct marketer.

Santa’s got a great understanding of his customers, he knows every boy’s and girl’s innermost wishes, he takes their orders and delivers their products on time.

But the most important part is that the products are exactly what the customers (kids) want – so of course they are super happy.

That would sure make a for low return rate ; )

Ok, I admit, I don’t know all of Santa’s marketing secrets, but let’s just take a look to see if we can steal any marketing tips from Santa

Since I am an avid Email marketer and have created several products and tools to help you with List Building, let’s use that topic as a base to work upon.

As you probably know, Email is still very powerful in the direct marketing world. Yes, even though there is Facebook and Twitter and SMS etc, Email is still crushing social media – and I predict it will continue to do so for quite some time yet. 

But what has changed with Email marketing this year in 2013?

A lot actually. From Gmail introducing their “tabs” to just people in general becoming more and more ‘busy’ with social networking and other of those types of messaging platforms.

This is how I see the two biggest challenges we’re facing in email marketing heading into 2014.

1) how to get our prospects to hand over their best email address

2) how to keep readers active and buying again and again

I know… I know… these have always been the main objectives but now even more so these days..

First, the key is to get their BEST email address.

I hope you are aware that your customers most probably have their ‘good’ email address they use for important emails  (the one they give to friends, family and other ‘trusted’ people ) –  and then they have their  “spam catcher” email address they NEVER check which they just use to sign up to stuff they don’t really care about or don’t trust.

People are not dumb… they know and despise Spam with a passion and they that signing up to anything is going to mean “more email.. great!”

So there is no way in hell they’re going to give away their best email to any un-trusted source.

So that’s the main thing here. 

Become a trusted source.

How do you do that?

It’s simple, but not necessarily easy.

1) To get their best email, you’re going to have to come up with something that will engage them over the long term.

If you’re offering just a one-time download, you can write off the chance of getting their best email. They’ll probably just use their ‘spam catcher’ email to get your product that one time and then it’s ‘sayonara’!

2) Once you have their best email, the next challenge is to keep their interest piqued. This is quite simple compared to the first: Simply, don’t send crap. Email daily, email twice in one day, it’s great IF your emails are awesome. Just be aware that your customers can and will unsubscribe the moment they lose their taste for what you send.

If there is one tip I can give you about what kind of emails to send, it’s to send “entertaining” emails.

Stories, jokes, quotes, facts, stats, etc.. these are things we enjoy reading.

Sales pitch after sales pitch is not. Yeah it’s ok for a few days, but can get boring real fast.

Think about this for a sec… who’s emails do you open up and read first?

1) An email from your best buddy with info about the weekend fishing trip,

or b) a no-named marketer who has been sending you the same email since the day you got on his list, where he’s trying to sell you an ebook on “how to write and sell a kindle book”

I can bet email ‘b’ won’t even last 2 minutes in the inbox as the recipient goes down and clicks delete, delete, delete…

As an email marketer, you must build rapport with your customer.

Become one of their ‘best buds’ who they look out for emails from.

If you can’t, your emails are going to hit the trash box faster than Santa can say “Merry Christmas”.

Would you look out for emails from Santa? I sure would.

Would you have any second thoughts giving your best email to Santa? I wouldn’t. 

Have A Product/Information/Service So Awesome That People Would Line Up To Give Your Their Email & Beg You To Send Them Emails About It!

The best marketers are those who help people improve their lives. If you have something people are begging for, your job as an email marketer, or any other type of method you use, will become a lot easier.

All the best for a prosperous 2014!

stustirling2013-100pixStuart Stirling

 

4 Tips To Get Your Emails Opened Now!

Is email marketing dead?

By no means is it dead, it’s still super effective for getting traffic and sales fast, but I do think it’s harder than it used to be 2 or 3 years ago.

While it’s easy enough to build an email list, the biggest challenge seems to be in getting those who subscribed to open and respond to your emails.

How do you increase open rates?

I’m definitely not an email marketing scientist who has experimented and tracked stats for months, but I do know what has worked for me and what works for others  by doing a little research.

Here are some quick tips to try in your email marketing…

1. If you’ve got a special promotion coming up, send out a ‘warning’ email before you send the pitch email to tell your readers to look out for your next special email.

Giving a warning ahead of time will spark their interest and just give them a heads up so they know to look out for it.

Pre-selling goes a long way back and it’s still effective today.

2. Sending on a particular day and particular time of day? It’s often said that Mondays are the worst day for mailing out and Tuesdays are the best and the best times are between 11 AM and 2 PM EST.

In my experiences, there is not a huge difference in the day you send out nor the time! I have emailed my list at 12 midnight EST and had similar response to emails I sent around lunch time.

I do avoid emailing on weekends though. For one, most people aren’t at work where the majority of email reading goes on. And two, most people are relaxing and trying to enjoy a quiet weekend so I don’t like to bother them.

3. Have a planned promotion over several days.If you have a promotion where you’re increasing the price after X days or offering a limited bonus, this will create urgency which gets people to move sooner rather than later.

Also, if you add something new to the offer, you have another excuse to send to your list again to tell them about it.

4. Be known for sending good stuff. This goes without saying but if your readers know you for sending awesome stuff, they won’t be able to wait to open your emails. But on the other hand, if you’re not giving them what they like or too much hard selling them crap etc. your readers will soon ignore your emails and unsubscribe.

There is nothing wring with selling to your list. They expect to receive promos for you. Just make sure the offers you send them are in line with their interests and worth their time to check out/purchase.

Email marketing isn’t dead, but you need a little finesse with your email marketing techniques and strategies to get people on your list opening and reading your emails.

In closing, you might want to check out this short 2 minute video I found about a cool little strategy to increase open rates by 50% in 7 days.

This video was made by the guys at Aweber.

For the most reliable, high performance email marketing software, you really can’t go past Aweber. I’ve been using it for the last 3 years and have never had an issue with them.

To your success,
Stu Sensei Stirling

p.s. What do you think works best for increasing email open rates and CTR?