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Authorized Personnel Only: Opt-In Email And Its Types

2014 January 23
by Contributor

authorizedOpt-in is a common term used in the field of e-mail marketing. It is derived from the word “opting in” and refers to the process when an internet user gives you the permission to send him e-mails. The term “permission marketing” was coined by Seth Godin.

Acquiring permission through the opt-in process is a really important aspect of successful e-mail marketing. Professional internet marketers use the opt-in lead lists for sending out e-mails. This is the most reliable and credible form of online marketing. In case you send an e-mail to someone outside of the opt-in bracket, you are technically “spamming” them.

You Give Me, I Give You: How Does Opt-In Work.

The process is really simple.

Most internet marketers use the free-giveaway technique to seek more opt-ins. For instance, you give away a free report, technical paper, e-book, discount coupon, etc. for free. In exchange for that, you require your prospect’s name and e-mail address.

If the user is interested in your product/giveaway, he will fill in the form. And by filling it, he gives you a permission to send e-mails to him.

Two Different Types of Opt-Ins

There are two different types of opt-ins. More precisely, there are two “levels” of opt-in confirmation and seeking permission. These two types are:

  • Single Opt-In
  • Double Opt-In

Although a single opt-in is quite sufficient in most cases, many professional marketers – who are really cautious about their online credibility – use the double opt-in technique. As a matter of fact, more and more internet marketers are now using the double opt-in method, in order to be on the safer side.

Let’s have a look at both these types.

Single Opt-In

Single opt-in is the simplest and most common type that we so often see on the internet. In fact, the process that I explained above under the heading of “How Does Opt-in Work?” is the perfect example of single opt-in.

Technically speaking, single opt-in is the method in which you seek permission only “once”.

Once a user fills the form to get access to your giveaway product, you successfully acquire his permission. Single opt-in makes way for bigger lists. It is also a less-complicated method to start building your e-mail list, but it also has a few drawbacks, too.

Interestingly, a bigger list does not always guarantee bigger rewards and higher response rate. In e-mail marketing, it is very crucial to focus on quality, rather than the quantity.

A lot of people will fill the sign-up form, mainly because they are just interested in the free giveaway. They may not be genuinely interested in your products or services. This, as a result, leads to a bigger e-mail list but with an unreasonably lower response rate. In short, you will end up with a really low ROI.

Furthermore, as not everyone from that list will be genuinely interested in your e-mails, you always run at a risk of being marked as “spam”. A lot of spam complaints against your name, and your service may be blacklisted.

To avoid such scenarios, a lot of professional and reliable internet marketers prefer the ‘Double Opt-In’ techniques.

Don’t Wear Out Your Welcome: Double Opt-In


Consider double opt-in as another layer of confirmation and filtration of your e-mail list. It is the next level that makes sure you end up with a “quality” list – which is not necessarily a big one.

In this technique, you do an extra step. Whenever a user fills the sign-up form, he is sent a “confirmation” e-mail.

This confirmation e-mail usually requires an action from the reader. The action is generally in the form of clicking a verification link that confirms his subscription to your campaign.

An example of a “confirmation e-mail” is below:

Dear John,

Thanks for downloading my e-book. I hope you will enjoy it thoroughly.

Moreover, I will make sure that you get all the latest news of the industry right in your inbox!

It would be great if you could just confirm it once again that you want all such e-mails. Just click the following link to confirm your subscription and I will ensure that you get the content on a regular basis.



Yours truly,


By using the double opt-in technique, you will certainly leave a few prospects out of your list. However, you will be able to focus on more targeted audience. Marketers who use the double opt-in technique achieve better response rate, engagement, and therefore, higher return on investment.

What is Negative Confirmation?

Before we end today’s post, it is also a good idea to discuss “negative confirmation”.

Usually, the double opt-in technique can take two forms: positive confirmation and negative confirmation.

The concept of positive confirmation is just explained above, i.e. in which the user has to take an action (confirm a link) in order to be included in your e-mail list.

On the other hand, negative confirmation refers to the technique in which the user has to take an action for NOT getting included in the list. Unless he confirms that, he will be included in your e-mail list.

This technique is often used, but it is not really recommended. You will still have a lot of useless e-mails in your list with this technique – when compared with the positive confirmation method.


It might seem to you that taking the road of pure permission-based email marketing, where all your subscribers consciously get on your email list, can cause a recipient shortage, but in the of the day it’s you who wins. Besides, there are all kinds of ways to make people actually want to be your subscribers and subscribe to your newsletter consciously. Atompark Software published an article with some good ideas that might give you a boost. Remember, having a horde of unsatisfied subscribers is much worse that having just a bunch of thankful ones.

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Hi. My name is Eugene Krall. I am just an ordinary email marketer, just like you, guys.

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