Living In Email Sin And Loving It 9

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Rock ‘n’ Roll used to be music of the devil. Now those same Little Richard tracks from the ’50’s seem pretty tame compared to what we see on music television.

Seems that sins of the past can become mainstream. And I’ve noticed 3 “email sins” that have made the move to acceptable mainstream practices. Just like how Elvis’ gyrating hips went from national controversy to a moot point.

1) Free Mail With GMail

Recently I shared how using a Gmail address has become mainstream, even for professionals. It used to be using anything but xxxx@yourdomain.com was taboo. And while Hotmail and Yahoo! domains are still generally seen as amateur, GMail has crossed over to the mainstream simply because their inbox is THAT good.

2) Asking for email address only.

For probably more than a decade asking for both name and email in opt-in forms was standard. This allowed you to do “amazing” things like personalizing emails and sales pages.

But more recently word has spread that marketers are universally increasing conversions by asking for email only… I haven’t heard even one test to the contrary.

3) The death of double opt-in.

It used to be that when someone gave you permission to send them emails, that you did indeed have their permission. But the rise of spam and worry over deliverability rates led most autoresponder services to make Double Opt-in mandatory.

Double opt-in means the visitor has to submit their email address, then check their email and finally click a link to confirm that they did, indeed, give you permission to email them.

This of course drastically cut down in the number of new subscribers marketers were receiving. But finally it appears that companies are changing their minds again.

Many marketers are switching back to single opt-in and large autorepsonder services are making it double opt-in optional once again. This is good news for honest email marketers.

Overall, I love all 3 of these new developments in email. Although not quite as much as 50’s rock ‘n’ roll.

9 thoughts on “Living In Email Sin And Loving It

  1. Reply Tony Finbarr-Smith Mar 24, 2010 5:00 am

    Hey Stephen, great post, and good analogy :)
    the less they have to fill in, the better, so email only is the future :)

    cheers,
    Tony.

  2. Reply Tom Brownsword Mar 24, 2010 10:08 am

    Two out of three isn’t bad…

    I still recommend double opt-in. While single opt-in will increase conversions, a double opt-in system goes a lot farther when it comes to fighting spam complaints. Some may consider the risk to be worth the increased conversions — but that’s a decision every person needs to make.

    Great video clip!

    Best regards,
    Tom
    .-= Tom Brownsword´s last blog ..GoodSync – Backup And Synchronize Files And Drives =-.

  3. Reply Jim Mar 25, 2010 9:19 am

    Tom— I disagree… if you go look at an Agora site they just ask for a name and no double opt-in. Clearly this works very well for them.

    Although I still do double opt-in because of Aweber, it’s something worth _testing_

    -Jim

  4. Reply Stephen Dean Mar 25, 2010 1:00 pm

    I’ve been using single opt-in for several months without any rise in complaints. I monitor it just in case I need to switch back, but there hasn’t been a need yet.

    And Jim, search around Aweber. They now allow you to use single opt-in, but it’s not set that way by default.

  5. Reply John W. Furst Mar 25, 2010 4:50 pm

    Hi Stephen,

    What a coincidence, I wrote a blog post a couple of days ago with the subject, “Single or Double Opt-In?”

    I also have noticed that many of the bigger marketers (those who usually test more!) switched back to single opt-in.

    Yours
    John
    .-= John W. Furst´s last blog ..Email Marketing Tips – Edition 19 =-.

  6. Reply Dean Rieck Apr 4, 2010 8:29 pm

    I help run a nonprofit in Ohio and I switched from double to single opt-in late last year. I saw no added spam complaints or problems, though it does open up the possibility for fake subscriptions. However, each subscriber must enter an mail twice and click to confirm, so it’s close to double opt-in.

    Also, I’m currently linking the subscription to a high-dollar giveaway and I ask for FULL contact information. We’re seeing anywhere from 200 to 1,400 new subscribers per day. It’s a political nonprofit, so we have built up lots of trust over the years.

    Question: What’s that checkbox below the comment form? Are you collecting email addresses from comments?
    .-= Dean Rieck´s last blog ..How to sell by not selling: the secret of the cedar plank =-.

  7. Reply Stephen Dean Apr 5, 2010 5:12 pm

    Thanks for your input Dean, do they enter their email address twice on the same page? Or is it a second page?

    And yes, if the checkbox is checked it’s to notify people when I post again. Although I don’t think it’s working at the moment. But that is the idea. Does it seem unclear? Should I change it?

  8. Reply Ryan the Geek Apr 17, 2010 3:15 am

    Interesting. I guess I was stuck in the mindset that single-opt-in was a cardinal sin. Reading your post made me realize that was MY self-imposed limitation.

    As for Gmail… it certainly is the best email interface on the planet, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of using your own domain.

    In December ’09 I switched my domain(s) over to Google Apps (and no, it’s doesn’t cost $50/year… FREE!) and consider it the smartest web decision I’ve made in a while.

    I wrote up a (long) step by step tutorial on the topic, along with another free change that can make your web presence much more resilient to problems: http://www.rjp.ca/tutorials/websites/third-party-hosting/

    -Ryan
    .-= Ryan the Geek´s last blog ..Recycling Canadian .CA domain names (TBR) =-.

  9. Reply Stephen Dean Apr 27, 2010 1:47 am

    Hey thanks for the tip Ryan. I’m sure to go through your tutorial soon, sounds great.

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