Walk into a butchery and ask for a cut of meat. You may be asked about thickness and weight, but the butcher will never respond, “Are you sure you want a cut of meat?”
Walk into a bakery and ask for a loaf of bread. You may be asked if you want it sliced or wrapped, but the baker will never respond, “Are you sure you want a loaf of bread?”
Walk into a candle stick store…
The fact is when you ask someone to give you something, you get it. You are rarely asked to repeat your question.
Yet that is what frequently occurs when you subscribe to an email newsletter. After requesting a newsletter on a website, observe the emailed response:
If the butcher doesn’t ask you to confirm you want a slab of meat, why are you asked to confirm you want to get emails?
The answer is to prevent spam.
Email service provider Campaign Monitor explains:
1. While it does not eliminate them completely, confirmed opt in reduces the probability of spam complaints, because someone with access to the email account has had to click a link specific to them. The confirmation process will help to ensure that people are only subscribed with their clear consent.
2. You will have a cleaner list because people have to use their real email addresses in order to confirm their subscriptions. This also eliminates misspelled addresses and typos.
3. Potentially more responsive subscribers. Those who are genuinely interested enough to confirm their subscriptions may also be more inclined to respond to your campaign or newsletter.
Paul Cunningham is among those who agree with the email marketing mantra of always asking potential email newsletter subscribers for confirmation. Siding with him are Michael Martine (who shares a useful resource on email marketing) and David Risley (who writes these tips to improve email marketing), to name two respected bloggers.
DJ Waldow is in a different camp that disagrees. He is explicit that you should stop when someone says yes.
Who’s right? Or, is David Fredrickson on the money that neither system is best and both asking for confirmation and not asking for confirmation should simultaneously be used?
The jury’s out. Share your comments below.
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