by Justin Premick
It's a common temptation: email addresses are entered into your form (or imported), sent the confirmation message… and then… Nothing. They sit there, pending. They haven't confirmed. And it's looking like they might not at all.
So the publisher starts thinking…
"What Can I Do to Get Them to Confirm?"
This is a great question to ask — before subscribers fill out your form, or even before they come to your website at all. The trouble starts when you ask this question after someone submits your opt-in form. This can send you down a path that, while often well-intentioned, leads straight to email deliverability hell.
Al Iverson points out an example of how an organization that many would consider to be reputable — a veterans' affairs site — have found their way out of the inbox and into the Spam folder by emailing people who didn't complete their registration.
Yes, It's an Extreme Case… These guys sent him at least five requests to complete his registration over the course of just one month. I don't think anyone who has ever asked us about sending a reminder had that in mind.
So how many reminders are too many?
Our view is, one "reminder" email is too many.
Simply put, too many problems arise when sending out email to unconfirmed subscribers, and while there's a chance you might not encounter any negative consequences, the benefit of this tactic is far outweighed by the potential costs to your email deliverability and to your reputation as a business.
So How Do I Get People to Confirm?
Focus on people who are interested and engaged with your campaign. And for the people who still don't confirm, let 'em go. As Iverson says, "The whole point of confirming is to validate them as a user, counting them as engaged, knowing they want your mail." If they're not confirming, they're not engaged. Focus on the ones who are engaged rather than wracking your brain over how to get marginally engaged people to click a link.