Newsletter Question

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Newsletter Question

Postby Sean's Mom on Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:26 am

I wasn't quite sure where it would be appropriate to post this topic, so I figured I'd be safe and post it here under "General Discussion".

My newsletter has a double opt-in feature. Visitors to my site enter their email address to sign up for my newsletter and are then sent a confirmation email that they must reply to in order to receive my newsletter. My problem is that I currently have 26 unconfirmed subscribers, visitors who have signed up but not replied to their confirmation email...and as such are not on the mailing list. I have access to their email addresses, even though they are not technically on the mailing list.

My question is: Would it be inappropriate for me to send a friendly reminder email to these unconfirmed subscribers to check their "junk" boxes for their confirmation email or to re-subscribe?

Part of me feels that this would be okay since, after all, they did supply me with their email address.....the other part of me feels like I'd be acting pushy and like a pesk. What do you think? I need a second opinion or two. :)

Thanks!

Erin
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Postby soapin'Angela on Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:25 pm

This is a great question Erin! I think technically since they did opt-in ONCE that they have given you permission to contact them.

It used to drive me crazy looking at those unconfirmed people so at one point I swiched over to single opt-in so that I wouldn't have any unconfirmed. Then I switched back to double because people keep saying how much safer it is to have and keep that confirmation.

So - this isn't really answering your question but I feel your dilema!

I personally would probably do it, but you dont' want to get bogged down with spending too much time doing that all the time. As I'm sure someone else would mention, if they were really interested they probably would of opted in already.
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Postby Mila on Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:31 pm

Erin, I personally wouldn't do it. I know it's tempting to see those emails there but emailing them could be more trouble than it's worth.

Instead of worrying about those, I would suggest take a look at your opt-in process. When they sign up do you take them to a page where you clearly explain they have to click on the confirmation link in order to subscriber, and ask them to add your email address to their address book, etc.?

Something in big letters that says "IMPORTANT:" will catch their attention. Another thing you can put into place is to offer a bonus for signin up and clearly explain they need to confirm the suscription.

These two things should increase your confirmation rate.

But yes, it's frustrating to see those unconfirms!
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Postby travlin on Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:18 pm

Hi Erin,

As far as the confirmation going to their bulk mail...I opted in to a free ecourse that I really wanted. I checked my bulk mail and sure enough there it was.

Personally, I would forget the 26 and make the changes Mila suggested...especially the bonus. People love getting free stuff related to the industry you are promoting.
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Postby SharonMc on Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:03 pm

As a newbie can someone please tell me what the downside is to not having a double opt in? I don't at present - after subscribers enter their email and name on my web page form, they become a part of my list. Can I easily add the double opt-in feature (I use WAHM Cart)?

Sharon
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Postby dreambig on Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:39 pm

Hi Erin,

I definitely agree with Mila as far as leaving your 26 people alone. In fact I would take it a bit further and look more at your process, like Mila suggested. Have you tested it out already (have you acted as a subscriber to your own newsletter), and if so, did your email go directly to spam. Maybe you should find a way to get the "spam number" (which takes into account the words you use in your headline and email).. I don't remember what the name of this spam number is off the top of my head, but I know a number of 3 or less (out of 12 or so.. someone correct me if I'm wrong) is fairly safe from spam filters.. I use my autoresponder, Aweber, to tell what my spam count is.. Sorry if that's a little confusing.

Also, to add to what Mila said, maybe change your subscription process to where they enter their name and email first. Then are redirected to a simple page saying, "Thank you for subscribing. Please check your inbox and look for the confirmation link and you will be redirected to the information" (where you aren't giving them the information upfront).. Then in your email to them, you can tell them to click on the link to confirm their subscription and the next page after they do that will be your newsletter. Maybe that'll get more those interested people onto your list.

Test different ways and find out what your subscibers respond to the best!

Hope you could follow my train of thought! Good luck... and keep us posted :D

Mia
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Postby Mila on Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:32 pm

As a newbie can someone please tell me what the downside is to not having a double opt in? I don't at present - after subscribers enter their email and name on my web page form, they become a part of my list. Can I easily add the double opt-in feature (I use WAHM Cart)?


The downside is usually some people won't confirm their subscription, which is what Erin is going through. The upside is when people confirm they tend to be more qualified because they took the time to confirm the subscription.

I'm pretty sure Wahm Cart has a double opt in feature. You'll get more subscribers with single opt in... so you'll have to see what works best for you. I have both double and single opt ins.
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Postby ZedBiz on Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:51 am

If you have double opt-in and you are using a service such as Aweber - then DO NOT send them anything if they have not confirmed their subscription. It is just not worth the risk of getting in trouble with Aweber.

I use a double opt-in for my main list - and I have it with Aweber. Partly because they offer a great service, and partly because it looks professional to be using Aweber as I believe they are the industry standard.

That said, I think a single opt-in list is just as effective, or possibly even more effective if you handle it right. By that I mean, you offer the best you can to your list. This means excellent service, great content, good 'reason why' recommendations, interact with your list, be responsive to latest industry news, have excellent and entertaining copy and have your list targeted.

What you can also do is once they are subscribed, you can use bonuses, special free offers, etc to get them to opt in to a new more targeted list that will allow you to tailer the content and future offers for better conversion.

Hope that helps,
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Postby soapin'Angela on Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:56 pm

If you have double opt-in and you are using a service such as Aweber - then DO NOT send them anything if they have not confirmed their subscription. It is just not worth the risk of getting in trouble with Aweber.


Oh good point. I didn't know that. I remember sending out emails like this back when I first started. I guess I figured that since they had opted in once they wouldn't be reporting me as spam - but it's a good idea to be safe!
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Postby SharonMc on Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:16 pm

I got a lot of great tips from this post. I hadn't thought before about some of the things I might offer my list (in addition to the newsletter updates). Good "reasons why" recommendations is a great idea (thanks Zed).
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Postby Mara B on Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:03 pm

The more I read on this forum, the more I learn that I have a lot more to learn! :oops: I know I've signed up for newsletters with both types of opt-in methods. Personally, I prefer the single, but now I understand the reasoning behind having the double.
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Postby Sean's Mom on Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:57 am

Just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions! Boy, am I glad I asked, lol!

Erin
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www.jewelrybyerin.com
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