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Forms Are Great, But Confirmed Opt-In Is Better

It’s common knowledge that a list of opted-in prospects is the best way to make sure your spam complaints stay low and you get the most out of your email marketing. But how do you handle prospects putting in false information — or worse, abuse@ addresses that can get you blacklisted? This is easy to manage with a process called confirmed opt-in, or COI.

What is confirmed opt-in?

Confirmed opt-in (also known as double opt-in) is a process that verifies that a prospect’s email address is legitimate and that they actually want to receive email from you. A potential prospect submits an email address into one of your forms, which triggers a confirmation request email. No further emails are sent to the prospect unless they open the email and click to confirm they are interested in receiving further marketing emails.

What are the benefits of confirmed opt-in?

The main benefit is that it verifies that the person filling out the form is the actual owner of the email address they’re typing into your forms. A confirmed list means no bogus email addresses going into your database, and therefore, extremely low bounce rates. It also provides a confirmed, documented record of opt-in, which significantly reduces spam complaints from your prospects. No one can come back to you and say “I never opted in!” because you have the data right there and can prove their spam complaint is unsubstantiated. This is particularly useful for keeping your database clean, as you can automatically remove hard bounces and abuse@ addresses that may be put into your forms.

An added benefit of confirmed opt-in is that it confirms prospects are interested in receiving marketing emails, which positively affects engagement and click-through rates on your email reporting.

Finally, it gives your sales team a list of prospects to reach out to in other ways, in case the prospect had a typo in their email address, such as @gamil.com instead of @gmail.com. You’d have a list of prospects you know might be interested in your product or service that may have just mistyped their email addresses. With all the amazing benefits confirmed opt-in has to offer, why wouldn’t you want to set that up?

Still not convinced? Here is an awesome study evaluating how confirmed opt-in improves the ROI on your marketing campaigns. It’s a bit of a long read, but it’s worth it!

How do I set up confirmed opt-in in my Pardot account?

There are a ton of ways to set that up in Pardot, but as a basic overview, it would go something like this:

  • Prospect fills out a form. Completion action on the form is to add them to a “not confirmed” list.
  • Prospect is sent an autoresponder email with a custom redirect link in it saying “please click to opt in”
  • Upon clicking to opt in, the prospect is removed from “not confirmed” and added to a “confirmed opt-in” list (set up as part of the completion actions on the custom redirect).

For more detailed instructions on how to set up COI in your Pardot account, we have an awesome brand new post on our Knowledge Base here.