Marketing by email can attract new customers, keep existing ones, up-sell, cross-sell, and cut costs. E-merchant Wine.com, for example, found email campaigns drove twice as many "best prospects" to their site compared to banner ads or other Internet marketing activities.
If executed improperly though, email campaigns can backfire with disastrous business consequences. How to minimize the risk and maximize the return? Part of the answer is a common sense approach called "permission" or "opt-in" marketing, in which customers or prospects volunteer to receive email.
Continuing on the lines of “opt-in” marketing, one of the most successful methods is the double opt-in technique. In double opt-in a user elects to receive email newsletters or standalone commercial messages. A confirmation email is sent to that user, who is now required to take one more action to be included on the list. The person must click the link within the confirmation email to affirm their intent to join your mailing list.
Although, the double opt-in techniques runs the risk of losing subscribers during the confirmation process, it gives the subscribers more control and thus, has proven to be more successful. That said, here are some measures emailers who practice double opt-in can take to reduce confirmation drop-offs.
When a user enters his address, mention an email will be sent to him and include its estimated arrival time. Indicate the user is required to respond to that message to receive subsequent mailings. With transactional customers, consider placing this information on the page with order confirmation.
Ideally, a confirmation message is sent immediately. It should be sent while the subscription is fresh in subscribers' minds and they're still engaged in an online session. If you indicate it will be within a day or two, make sure you follow through on that promise. If your systems are slower, then requirements related to message content are even more relevant.