The Myth of Double Opt-in

One day, not so many years ago, an email marketer with big glasses and a funky haircut decided to add a bunch of people he didn’t know to his email list. When he got complaints, instead of owning up and politely offering to remove them, he said, “I didn’t do that. Someone else must have signed you up.” This geeky guy was the first of many.

And so, the myth of the mysterious newsletter signer-upper was born.

The email marketing industry somehow had to address this strange phenomenon. How could they keep these signer-uppers from signing other people up?

And so, the double opt-in process was born.

Of course, this made it really difficult for the signer-uppers to cause mayhem. No longer did signer-uppers gather on Friday nights over beer to wreak havoc on the email marketing world.

Now the experts, who not so many years ago were preaching that having a double opt-in process was a must, are saying that maybe it’s not so necessary anymore.

I have yet to meet anyone that is or ever was a signer-upper and I’ve never been the brunt of signer-upper trickery. Now really, who does that?

Double opt-in:

  • is not required by any law in Canada or the U.S.
  • is for you (mitigating risk), not your subscriber (a pain in the …)
  • has only a 40% chance of being completed and, because you asked once, you don’t have permission to ask again (CASL), so the contact is lost to you
  • means you’re sending your subscriber an email that has NO VALUE for them

When someone expresses an interest by subscribing, don’t turn it into work for them by making them do it twice.