When you are sending emails you want to make sure that they are going to people who actually want them. Who have signed up, and who have confirmed that they want to receive them.
The question you are you probably asking yourself right now is “What is a double opt-in link really and why should I bother with it?”. And what does it have to do with successful marketing campaigns?
You should be asking that because it’s a damn good question.
Double Opting in is one of the most important things you are going to do for your brand new subscribers, because it will help ensure they actually get your emails! Plus, with the introduction of GDPR guidelines, you are legally obligated to ensure that anyone signed up to your emails want to be there. And getting consent though a double opt-in is one of the best ways to do this.
You could have the best marketing campaign in the world, but if your emails don’t get delivered, it’s worth nothing. Zilch. Nada.
Of course there is a load of stuff that goes into whether or not your email hits their inbox, but this is your very first opportunity to start your relationship off on the right foot.
So now you know why this is so important, let’s talk about what it is... If you’re a pro, read on anyway, because this is a good refresher 🙂
What are double opt-ins?
In reality, confirmation link is a better name, because that is exactly what a double opt-in does. It confirms.
A double opt-in is merely the process of getting a new prospect to confirm that they would like to receive your emails. This is usually done by sending a specific email after the point of opt-in asking the new contact to click on a link to confirm their email address.
And the double opt-in link is the link that your prospect will click on to confirm their desire to be contacted by you.
After they click on that link they will receive the precious thing they signed up for and everyone is happy.
Or are they?...
Getting people to confirm their email is an extra step in the process of getting a prospect to sign up... Extra steps cut conversion rates. So why bother?
Because it’s good for both of you.
Getting a confirmation from your prospect drastically reduces the chance of your email being marked as spam by its recipient. An email with a “confirmed” status has higher email deliverability.
This means you get into the inbox, which is where you want to be, and your prospect gets the information they want from you.
So what’s the alternative?
You don’t get them to confirm their email address. They are then considered unconfirmed, or a single opt-in. Let’s discuss why this is a bad idea, and the myths that surround single opting-in...
Single Opt-in Pros and Myths:
Lots of people will recommend that to get more potential customers onto your email list you should use a single opt in rather than a double opt in. Yes, single opt-ins may mean that you do get a bigger list. But is that really the best thing to do?
- Single opting-in is a simpler process.
There is one less step to get to what they asked for. Less steps are always good in marketing. You want to make it as easy as possible.
Why this is a myth: The ninja way to double opt a contact in does not include an extra step! If you’re using Infusionsoft®, this does not have to be a problem for you at all...
- Less Lost Leads.
The biggest argument for sticking to single opt-ins is that you may lose leads in the confirmation stage. While it certainly is true that people sign up for stuff and then never consume the content they asked for, I disagree with this statement.
Why this is a myth: Firstly, with the ninja way, there is no Confirmation Stage, only their first email.
Secondly, the quality of your lead is dictated by how valuable they view your content, and how engaged they are. Leads that do not even open the first email you send them, are not leads at all. Your first email will always have the highest open rate, often around 70%, there after it will drop to less than half that, at an average of between 20% and 30%. What makes you think that your lead is then more likely to open your subsequent emails when the odds are not in your favour? Especially as their Email service provider is watching their engagement with you to decide whether you get into their inbox or not. No engagement, no inbox placement.
- Faster List Growth.
Combined with the above statement on lost leads, logic dictates that your list growth will be faster if you elect to use a single opt-in process.
Why this is a myth: I can’t refute the logic that your list will grow faster, but I can tell you that is not necessarily a good thing. Just because you have a big list doesn’t mean you’re winning...
Heard the term “The money is in the list”?
Please note, it doesn’t say:
“The money is in having a MASSIVE list” or
“The money is in flogging people everything you have repeatedly whether they want it or not”....
It should really say “The money is in the engaged list”.
Engagement counts for everything when it comes to effective email marketing.
If you aren’t getting engagement, your emails aren’t going to get into the inbox. You can try a million different tactics tools to try force inbox placement, but if your audience isn’t engaged, and they aren’t getting your emails, but you keep sending anyway, you’re spam.
Nobody likes spam.
Let’s look at the Pro’s for Double Opt-Ins:
As you might have guessed. We are advocates for double opt in confirmation for your email list. Here is why:
- Higher engagement, open rates, and lower bounce rates
- Reduced Spam complaints, and protection as you have proof they confirmed their email and consented to receiving email from you. This includes mistyped email addresses, which can negatively impact your sender reputation by adding to the number of undeliverable addresses that you're trying to email
- Reduced Unsubscribe rates - only the people who want to get your emails will be there
- Defence against spambots, email scams, and fake subscribers - as the email address needs to be valid/real to receive the confirmation email
- Better Sending Reputation - with all the above in place, you will have a clean and highly engaged email list from the get go
So what are you waiting for now? It’s all up from here! Let’s get down into how to make it happen:
Infusionsoft® has a default double opt-in sequence in the campaign builder. Here is how to do it:
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The default double opt-in isn't the best way to do it...
The standard double opt-in with Infusionsoft isn't the best way to get people to confirm.
In fact, I hate it with a passion. Yes it makes it easier to implement a double opt-in, but that’s where the fun stops. Look at the text in the email:
And no - you can’t change this bit:
And yes - it is in the old email builder still.
If you were a brand new prospect, is there anything good, wholesome and exciting about that email? No. No there isn’t. It’s scary and off putting, and there is nothing in that email that I would want to click on. Nothing. You just lost me.
So please, don't use the default double opt-in link with infusionsoft.
Instead do this...
The ninja way to make double opt-in links
One you can add to your own welcome email. With the Ninja way you can make it appealing, welcoming, exciting, and combine the confirmation link with a link to your chosen download. Ensuring your leads confirm their email AND consume their requested information at the same time.
That’s how you do a double opt-in. No additional steps, customised, content rich, and good looking.
You’re going to need the following to complete this:
- A URL to send them to for this process (it could be a hosted PDF, or a download page on your site, or even a landing page to a video etc)
- Admin access in Infusionsoft®
- A campaign email or Broadcast email that you would like to implement this in
We’re going to be using an automation link to make the magic happen. Automation links are email links that initiate actions. Just as the name says!
Then we’re going to add some redirection code into the thank you page of the link so that we send the contact to our own specified page. This will bypass the default Infusionsoft® confirmation page - on slow internet speeds the page will still flash up.
That’s OK! You’re not misleading your contacts. In your emails you want to be honest and truthful that they will be confirming their email address AND access their content. You can get yourself into legal trouble if you do not do this as you would be misleading your leads. Please use these Ninja powers for good and be good to your leads.
I always use the text “click here to confirm your email address and download your PDF” or something similar. That way when the confirmation page is seen, they are expecting it AND you’re covering yourself legally 🙂 (I’m no lawyer though - so please don’t use my words in a court of law!)
Creating a Custom Double Opt-in Redirect
1. Hover over the Infusionsoft logo and go to Marketing Settings
2. On the left hand Navigation panel, click on Automation Links
3. Then Under Confirmation Links you will see the default double-opt in email, next to the Confirmation Links text there is the option to 'Create Confirmation link’'
4. A new window will pop up, name your link as appropriate. You want to be really specific here and name it clearly. You may have several different types of double opt-in link, so make the name very clear.
Ignore the html email area and scroll down until you see 'Link Text'. This is the clickable text that will show up to the lead in the email. Normally it will say “click here” or something along those lines. It is important to remember what you enter here as you will not actually see the link text in the email (I write it down, I have a short attention span!)
5. Click Save (NOT save and close)
6. Head over to the confirmation page appearance tab at the top of the window, in the Merge Field for Opt-In Header, we want to enter your company name. From the drop down for header colour choose black text white background. This is because a confirmation message will appear briefly before your prospect gets redirected to the URL you want to send them to
7. Now we come to page content, we want to go to the source tab and paste in the code below, remembering to enter the URL of the page you want to redirect to in the code as below in bold (and in the image in red)
window.location.replace("http://your URL GOES HERE");
Save again. (NOT save and close)
8. Next we pop over to actions, from the add a new action drop down we want to choose apply/remove a tag. I always apply a tag to my double opt-ins for list hygiene sake. I also like to tag which campaign they opted in for. From here you can either choose a double opted-in tag if you have one, or create one with the create a new tag option
9. Once you have chosen your tag click save and then save, now you can click save and close
10. This should take you to the list of confirmation links again, only this time your new link should be there!
11. Time to head over into the campaign email or broadcast email that we want to send people to get them to double opt-in. Write your copy as normal, but instead of writing 'click here' or whatever link text you have decided on, we are going to put ~OptIn_number~ Note: the symbol on either end is a ‘Tilde’, not a dash. Please also make sure that the letters O and I in ‘OptIn’ are both a capital letter
12. It will look like this ~OptIn_14~ (not 14 in your case, the number from step 10)
13. Send a test to yourself, and you shouldn't see the opt in code, just the link text. Magic!
When your lead opts in now, they will get their unique welcome and confirmation email. Ninja style.
Here’s a little bonus...
Bonus extra - tag applied goals
You may want to structure your campaign so that if they do not click on the confirmation link they do not progress to the rest of the campaign.
With a normal link, you could just separate the email out into it’s own sequence and use a link clicked goal to progress them to the next sequence, like this:
You can't do that with an automation link.
That’s because this isn’t a “proper” link in the campaign builder’s eyes. It’s an automation link.
Instead, use a tag applied goal, like such:
And you’re all good to go!
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Double opting your contacts in is the smart way to start the relationship off correctly from the get go, as well as ensuring higher email deliverability, increasing your chance of getting into the inbox.
But you run the risk of setting a bad first impression doing it the standard way. Be clever with your confirmation links and do it the Ninja way for an awesome customised experience.
Now I’ve prepared a little cheat sheet for you, that you can download and use for when you’re implementing this for yourself.
If you’re struggling with any of the issues raised in this post, feel free to give us a shout - we can take the hassle out of it for you. We also set these up on a daily basis, and we’re happy to do yours for you! Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org - or hit the contact us button on the menu bar.