The consent (opt-in) of a user to receive newsletters and marketing mails must be legally verifiable by the sender. Only the double-opt-in procedure is suitable for this purpose. The double opt-in procedure prevents a user from being registered for a newsletter by an unauthorised person – via a freely accessible form. Even arbitrarily registered opt-ins are not always confirmed by double opt-in. With these eight tips you can increase your double opt-in rates.

1. refer to confirmation email

It is recommended to inform the user already when submitting the first opt-in that he will receive a confirmation mail for a double opt-in. This notice can be placed directly on the registration form or on an additional page that opens after filling out the form. A user is more likely to pay attention to an email when the mail is expected by him. He may also have to open his email client first.

In addition, there are also confirmation emails which only inform about the successful registration – “Thank you for your registration for our newsletter/ our shop/etc.”. As these often no longer contain any relevant information for the user, it is highly likely that they will be deleted unopened. Therefore, it is useful to inform the recipient in advance that he will receive a confirmation.

2. explain the double opt-in process

Some users are not aware of the double opt-in procedure and think that a single consent would be sufficient. It is possible that a user feels harassed by an email whose meaning he does not see. Therefore, the user should be given a brief explanation of why they are being asked for confirmation. A short sentence such as “We would like to protect you from registration by third parties” is sufficient. The user should also be told what to do when he receives the email – “Click on the link to confirm your registration”.

It can happen that unauthorized persons register a user for a newsletter without his knowledge via a freely accessible form. The user then receives a confirmation mail without knowing why. In the worst case, the user will blame the sender and complain publicly that the sender is misusing his data. To prevent this, the confirmation mail should also mention the possibility of opting in by unauthorized persons. The user should be informed that in this case he can delete the confirmation mail and no data will be collected from him.

3. Send the cofirmation mail promply

Even if the user has been informed that he/she has received the confirmation mail, it is possible that he does not follow this advice or forgets it before the confirmation mail arrives. Therefore, a confirmation mail should always be sent as soon as possible after the first opt-in. The user is mentally still with the registration and recognizes immediately the connection of the confirmation mail to the registration. If it is not possible to send it promptly, you should inform the recipient of the delay. Another reason for the prompt dispatch is that the recipient could possibly lose interest in the newsletter in the time between the first opt-in and the confirmation mail.

4. refer to the spam folder

There is a risk that a confirmation mail will be sorted out by the spam filter. Therefore, the user should be advised to also look in his spam folder if he does not receive the confirmation mail. It is also advisable to offer the user the option of adding the sender to his address book in advance to avoid possible filtering.

5. offer a confirmation by click

With each additional step, the probability that a user will cancel the double opt-in process increases. The easiest, shortest, and for most users the most familiar way is to click on a confirmation link. You should refrain from sending a confirmation by reply mail to the sender.

6. formulate a meaningful subject line

From the subject line it should be immediately obvious to the user that this is a confirmation mail. Since the confirmation mail is usually expected by the user, he can assign it directly. It is useful to indicate in the subject line the opt-in to be made – e.g. “Please confirm your newsletter subscription to xyz”. Otherwise the user might think that it is an email without any action request and might delete it unopened.

7. personalize confirmation mail

Confirmation emails often seem mechanical and unloving – a generic-looking sender, a formal text, the note “This email was generated automatically. Please do not reply to it”. This may seem sufficient for the intended purpose. However, authenticity and activation of the user in a personal, interactive dialogue are becoming increasingly important requirements for email marketing and there is no reason why this should not start with the confirmation email.

8. focus on the confirmation

The purpose of the confirmation mail – the receipt of a double opt-in – should always be taken into account when designing it. Personal address should not mean that the user is distracted from the actual confirmation by excessive greeting texts. The confirmation link should therefore also be placed in a clearly visible and free-standing position – not hidden in the text or even in the same colour as the text. It should immediately catch the user’s eye when he opens the mail.

Checkist: 99 ways to generate opt-ins

The checklist shows how to arouse the user’s interest in general and which ideas opt-in generation works with at different touchpoints: from your own website to mobile and offline touchpoints such as trade fairs or print.