The double opt-in process is a way of confirming someone’s wish to join a text messaging or email list. It gives businesses complete confidence in a subscriber’s consent and helps protect against spam complaints.
Have you ever signed up for something online and then had to go digging through your email for a confirmation link? That was a double opt-in.
SMS marketing double opt-ins work in much the same way. Just with text messages, not emails. 🙂
Let’s explain by way of example.
Say you’ve just rolled out a brand-new website for your budding housefly extermination company, Venus McFlyTrappers, Inc. To get subscribers, you add a Web Sign-Up Form to your site and advertise a 20% discount to incentivize visitors.
Soon enough, someone living in a house full of flies lands on your website and sees your sign-up form. Noticing the generous 20% discount, and being none too happy about their shared housing situation, they enter their information and hit subscribe.
At this point, you’ve technically got all the consent you need—a single opt-in—so you could just reply with a simple “Welcome to our list!” text.
However, you’ve set your SMS marketing campaign with double opt-in settings, so House of Flies Guy gets this message instead:
“Reply Y or YES to confirm that you want to receive SMS messages from Venus McFlyTrappers.”
House of Flies Guy must now provide unambiguous confirmation that it’s a-okay for you to send him text messages. He must send an opt in text. Without that “Y” or “YES” reply, he won’t be able to join your list.
Once he confirms, you can send out your compliant welcome text:
“Venus McFlyTrappers alerts! Show this text for 20% off service. Msg&data rates may apply. 4msgs/month. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel.”
(Note: Double opt-in is also available to use with SimpleTexting’s Mailchimp app.)
Double opt-in isn’t required by law, which is why it’s not a requirement inside your SimpleTexting account. It is, however, highly recommended.
But wait, can’t you build a subscriber list faster with single opt-in? Well, yes.
And isn’t it true that “up to 20% of initial subscribers will not complete the final confirmation step” in double opt-in? Also yes, according to Campaign Monitor.
So why is double opt-in the better opt-in method?
Because, believe it or not, there’s a risk that single opt-in subscribers might claim they didn’t realize that texting you would give you permission to text them back.
There’s also the risk that somebody else, whether in error or in ill will, dropped the wrong cellphone number into a web form … and the person you’re sending texts to never actually signed up.
With double opt-in settings in place, however, it’s pretty hard for people to claim ignorance or foul play.
Why is any of this important for businesses and organizations to know? Because businesses and organizations bear the responsibility to prove consent, not subscribers.
So even though single opt-in meets industry standards and legal requirements for SMS marketing, it’s not enough to keep people from taking you to court for spam—and even coming out on top.
Lesson: Use double opt-in if you want to play it safe with your new housefly extermination company.
Need help setting up double opt-in? Just contact one of our support wizards at [email protected], and they’ll help you get started. You’ll be enjoying the benefits of super safe text messaging in less time than it takes to put the candy back inside a smashed piñata! 😄