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Opt-In Email Marketing Builds High Quality Lists

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Opt-in email subscribers

Forcing someone onto an email list without their knowledge or approval is the worst way to build a valuable list.

It’s also spam and will get you in a lot of trouble.

Opt-in email marketing builds high-quality lists. The person opting-in is more likely to open the email and click on links in it.

An opt-in subscriber also is much less likely to unsubscribe.

What are Opt-In Email Subscribers?

A typical opt-in email process displays a check box which individuals click to approve getting emails.

Those individuals are making a conscious choice to sign up for the list. They make that choice because they expect value and benefit from the email.

A great example of this is a jobs email newsletter from the likes of Monster.com. It will send emails based on certain job opening characteristics such as salary, location and position type.

Clearly, the recipient will value the content of such an email and be highly likely to click on links to go to the parent website.

The above process is called single opt-in because it is a one-step effort by the subscriber.

Double opt-in is a two-step process. The subscriber enters an email address and clicks on submit and / or checks a box. A confirmation email goes to the subscriber, who then clicks on a link in the email to confirm the subscription.

Double opt-in is even better for building quality because the subscriber is making a firm commitment to getting the emails.

It also prevents malicious site visitors from subscribing someone else without their permission.

Related Subscriber Metrics

Churn is one way to judge the quality of an email marketing list. It is the rate at which a list adds new subscribers and loses them when they unsubscribe.

High-quality lists will have a low churn rate and grow over time. Low-quality lists have the opposite effect.

A good email opt-in subscriber process also impacts the open rate and click rate.

The open rate is the percentage of emails that subscribers open. A common open rate ranges between 20 and 30 percent of all sent emails.

The click rate is the percentage of open emails trigger a subscriber’s click.

Once again, a solid opt-in process often results in higher open and click rates.

I would add two more in the case of opt-in emails based on what happens after the subscriber clicks on a link.

An audience-tracking product like Google Analytics will show the number of people who visit a website via email, especially if the email marketing company allows the clicks to be tracked.

Using GA’s ability to track their behavior, it’s possible to follow metrics such as pages per visit and ad revenue results.

One site I know that uses an opt-in email newsletter gets more than 12 pages per visit from this targeted audience, which is three times higher than the site average.

Google AdSense revenue is about 20 percent higher than the rest of the site.

This same audience also visits the site more often because the email goes out daily.

Why Not Opt-Out?

Opt-out is an option, but the quality of the list isn’t as good because it uses a somewhat deceptive practice of adding someone to the list.

A typical opt-out captures the subscriber’s email address through the registration process for another product or services. A checkbox for an email subscription is already checked.

The company counts on the visitor to overlook the checkbox.

That day, the next day or one day soon, the visitor starts receiving unwanted email from the company because the checked box was an implicit agreement between the two.

Opt out produce a higher churn rate. It also potentially annoys the individual who may not return to the website as a result.

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