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Permission marketing: The confirmed opt-in process

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Recently on the Sign-Up.to blog I wrote a post about the importance of using opt-in data. I talked a little bit about the data capture forms you can create in your Sign-Up.to account, and also the fact that we exclusively use a confirmed opt-in process with our forms. People often ask about our opt-in system and how it works, so I thought it high time for us to elaborate on the process.

First things first, you’ll need to create a data capture form. With the tools available you can easily make something that looks professional and fits in with your branding. Here’s one I prepared earlier.

To get people signing up through your data capture form, they will need to be able to see it. Place your form (or a link to it) prominently on your website and/or Facebook page for maximum exposure.

Great. So let’s assume that your lovely data capture form is now on your website and your site visitors want to hear more from you. What happens next? Let me explain.

Step one: Your subscriber enters their details into the first page of the form (as shown above). Then they are presented with a confirmation message to reassure them that the sign up process is underway.

Step two: At this point, the system sends out an opt-in email to the address the subscriber has provided. We do this to confirm that the address has been entered correctly and also to ensure that the right person will be getting your emails. It’s true, the standard opt-in email is fairly dull, but this can be fully customised within the system should you desire something more exciting.

The opt-in email contains two links as standard, the first is the form location and the second is the confirmation link. Your subscriber needs to click on the confirmation link to verify their sign up. Only once they’ve done this will their address be added to your mailing list.

And that’s it! Subscriber data captured and mission complete. Well almost. All that’s left to do is thank your subscriber for having shown an interest in you. Handily, when they click on the confirmation link, your subscriber will be taken to just the page.

These screen shots show the default text for each step of the opt-in process, however each stage can be customised to make your message as friendly as you like. Check out the following guides for more information on how to set up your data capture forms and custom opt-in emails.

A parting thought for you; once someone has given your their permission to contact them, don’t abuse it! Respect the subscriber in terms of how often you contact them and what kinds of messages you contact them with. In return, their love for you will grow and could blossom into something beautiful… or perhaps a purchase of some kind. Whatever floats your boat.

Any thoughts of your own on the subject? Leave us your comments in the box below.

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