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Email Marketing by the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level by Ali Sales, Chris Baggott

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Permission and Opt-In Are Synonymous

In the email world, an opt-in simply means that constituents have given explicit permission for you to email them. There are a few different types of opt-ins, which we’ll cover now.

Single opt-in typically takes place from a simple email collection form. Your constituents fill in their info and bingo—they’re on the list. The biggest benefit of single opt-in is that it’s easy. There is very little friction, so you’re likely to build a bigger list with this method. Of course we all know that bigger isn’t necessarily better, so that’s the drawback. The quality of the names is typically mediocre at best. For example, if you provide access to a white paper as a reward for an email address, many people will just put in gibberish so they get access to what they need. The result? High bounce rates and poor deliverability when it comes time to email these people. Another problem is that pranksters will put other peoples’ email addresses into the form, which results in people receiving email that they didn’t ask to receive. Many times, you wind up with spam complaints.

The last problem with single opt-in is that many people sign up unconsciously, without really wanting or appreciating what you are trying to accomplish. These people will often ignore your emails, or even worse, forget that they asked for the message to begin with and flag you as a spammer. Don’t worry, there’s a way around all of these drawbacks.

Double opt-in includes an extra step that ...

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