Why "Opt-In" Is Really The *ONLY* Game In Town!
by Michael Green: Creating An Ezine
So what's all this fuss we keep hearing about "Opt-In" email then?
Well to put it simply, unlike "Junk or Spam" email, "Opt-In" means you've explicitly received the recipient's permission to send them your message. In other words your readers have specifically signed themselves up to your publication, and the difference can be like dynamite!
SINGLE AND DOUBLE "OPT-IN"
You may have come across these terms. So let's clear them up once and for all.
Single "Opt-In" means that you invited someone to join your list, they provided their email address and opted themselves in to receiving your mailings.
Double "Opt-In" means that the same thing happened, and they signed themselves up to your list, but then - just to make sure they really meant it - they had to confirm their subscription by clicking *Reply* to a confirmation email you sent them or by clicking a web link to confirm their subscription.
SO WHICH IS BETTER? SINGLE OR DOUBLE "OPT-IN"
Well a Double "Opt-In" subscriber list is considered to be made up of higher quality prospects.
Because by emailing the contact to ask if they definitely want to receive your Ezine, you're performing three important tasks:
*1* You're testing their commitment to receiving your information at all. If they can't be bothered to confirm the subscription, then maybe they didn't want the information in the first place!
*2* You are removing the element of doubt that someone else may have deliberately or inadvertently used their email address to sign up with. Double "Opting-In" means that everything is nicely confirmed.
*3* You're removing any possibility (well almost any) of that prospect complaining to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the future. Or even if they did you'd have evidence that they really had consented.
So Double "Opt-In" is a nice idea in theory, but sometimes it won't be all that practical.
One of the techniques frequently used to gather email addresses is a Pop-Up box that you might place on your website. This will invite the person browsing to enter their first name (so you can personalize your message to them) and their email address. This is usually done in return for a mini-series of tips and hints or some kind of free report, frequently followed up by further Ezine Newsletter issues.
Under these circumstances, most marketers would agree that it would get a little cumbersome to be asking people to reconfirm their subscription over-again. After all, the average prospect browsing wants to do things quickly, without being bothered by additional email messages.
So there's a balance to be struck between the advantages of Double "Opt-In" and the speed and efficiency of Single "Opt-In".
Either way at least you will have explicitly received permission to be marketing to your list, and this will put you miles ahead of the brain-dead spammers!
AND SPAM EMAIL IS REALLY DEAD!
Let me save you some trouble. If you were ever tempted by an offer of: "60 million email addresses on one CD for just $49" or something similar....FORGET IT.
Here's precisely what will happen to you if you get tempted to send spam email:
*1* You'll upset virtually everyone you send your email to and most likely won't make any sales.
*2* You'll be the subject of some pretty vicious reprisals. Nowadays this probably includes some very disgruntled individual deliberately sending you a virus.
*3* You'll find yourself excommunicated from your Internet Service Provider and searching for a new host.
Oh, and if that doesn't all sound bad enough, you will have instantly established yourself with a very unenviable reputation. Your brief online business career will be over.
"OPT-IN" IS HARDER WORK
I often hear people grumble that "Opt-In" is terribly hard work. And I can't deny that it takes more time and effort than buying a CD off-the-shelf with a million 'unwilling' recipients.
But done properly, a list of receptive "Opt-In" subscribers will pay you back time and time again. In short - done right - the effort will be well worth the return.
So don't be tempted by "spam" short-cuts, do it properly and build yourself a good "Opt-In" mailing list.
How To Write A Newsletter Toolkit
Easy Ezine Toolkit
The author, Michael Green, is known as THE newsletter guru. He's created two toolkits to help YOU create your own Newsletter (www.howtowriteanewsletter.com) or Ezine (www.easyezinetoolkit.com)
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