Double Opt-In or Not
What many people don't realize,
is that in order to protect yourself, whenever you decide to have someone
subscribe to your emailed newsletter, that they MUST opt-in. And for extra
security, double opt-in is the best route. This will mean you can prove
that the person decided to receive mailings from you, should that person
ever try and report you for sending spam.
A Single Opt-In means that
a person lets you know they want to receive your newsletter, and they
are automatically added. This could be by checking a box when they order
something from you, or simply filling in the subscription box form and
clicking "Go". The problem with single opt-in is that the person
never confirms it, so theoretically, anyone could go and add anyone's
email to your newsletter - all without any confirmation required by the
actual email address owner.
Double Opt-In means that the
person enters their email address or somehow submits his or her email
address to be added to your mailing list. The mailing list software then
will send a confirmation email to the email address used. Then that person
has to either click a specially coded link or reply to the email in order
to be added. If the person does not do this, they will not be added to
your mailing list.
If you do not do either opt-in,
you are not allowing the person to state they wish to receive your mailings.
And you could be reported for sending unsolicited emails (spam). The consequences
could range from a warning from SpamCop, a warning from your ISP, or even
suspension of your internet access account.
The best business practice
in regards to newsletters is to do double opt-in. Newsletter services
such as Bravenet,
all do double opt-in as a standard feature, as well as sending you a confirmation
of every single sign up, so if there is ever a wrongful spamming report
filed against you, you can back it up that the person agreed to receive