You’ve all experienced this– when you give your email to a company, for one reason or another, a window pops up that says, “Check your email inbox, and click the link to confirm”. It seems like an unnecessary step- You’ve already given them your email, why do you also have to click a link?


The reason brands require this extra step is two-fold: 1) In certain geographic areas (Europe, Canada, etc.) this step is actually required before the company can legally begin to email you, and 2) It dramatically helps their future marketing efforts.

The process of requiring a user to click a link in their email is called a double opt-in. On first glance it may seem like this hurt businesses since many business owners think that the the sole purpose of marketing is to generate the most potential leads who may become customers. However, the email “click to confirm” actually makes it easier to communicate with potential customers.

When you send an email to someone, their email provider (Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) will run a quick check on your email to determine whether or not to deliver your email or not. If they do deliver it, they will either place it in their inbox, or in their spam or junk folder. One of the biggest factors that most email services use in deciding whether or not to put your email in their inbox is whether the user has opened or clicked on emails from you in the past. Since people will not click emails from spammers and scammers, whether or not someone has clicked an email from you is one of the biggest signals about whether or not you are a spammer.

So, when a brand tells you, “Check your email, and click on the link to confirm”, not only are they determining if you are a real person or not, but they are also expecting that email click to single to your email provider that you are indeed interested in hearing form them.

Most email providers place a lot more importance on the first email someone sends to one of their customers than to subsequent emails. The first email you send to someone is more likely to make it to their inbox that later emails, and the email providers are carefully watching what the recipient does with it. If they delete it or ignore it without even opening it, the email provider is going to (probably correctly) assume that person isn’t interested in hearing from you, and will determine whether or not to deliver future emails to their customer based on that.

However, if someone opens, and clicks a link in the first email they receive from a brand, the email provider will be more inclined to deliver future emails from the same sender to that user.

What does this mean for you?

Not only should you setup a double opt-in process with your email platform, but you you ensure this first email that goes out is a great representation for your brand. If you’re going to focus and work on making sure your marketing messages are getting in to prospects email inboxes, this first email is the key one for you to focus on.

Action items:

  • Ensure that anytime you get an email address from someone you immediately send out an email, with a “click this link to confirm your email address”.
  • Optimize the opt-in email. Make sure the subject line is clear, the sender “from” email address and name are going to be the main one you use with communicating with the user in the future, and that the content and copy of the emails is the best you have. See this guide [insert link] for some things to consider when optimizing the email.
  • Do not continue emailing to users who do not respond to this first email. While its always hard to delete potential prospects from your database, if you want to do marketing that will lead to long-term growth, getting comfortable deleting emails as needed is essential.

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