At the latest since the new European DSGVO came into force, every marketer has asked himself the question: “Single Opt-In vs. Double Opt-In. What is required to comply with DSGVO?”. Both have the advantages and disadvantages. However, especially for end-customer communication, Double Opt-In offers three major advantages for companies compared to Single Opt-In:
- Traceability of customer consent to receive marketing messages
- Improved reputation of the email sender
- Higher quality of the contact list and customer relations
- 1. What is Double Opt-In
- 2. What are the advantages of Double Opt-In
- 3. What are the risks of Double Opt-In
- 4. Implementing Double Opt-In with Mautic
- DSGVO-compliant with the Aivie Double Opt-In package – fast and easy
1. What is Double Opt-In
Corporate communication can be varried and broad. Whether newsletters, product news, invitations to competitions or a congratulatory email for a birthday. There is always something to communicate in order to stay in regular contact with customers. Thanks to Single Opt-In, interested parties can register for such communications quickly and easily by simply entering their own email address. However, this entails a considerable risk of abuse. Email lists can be purchased and the unknowing addressees inundated with communication. Or email addresses of random people are given (often also as a non-malicious joke between friends). These then come to “enjoy” unsolicited corporate communications. Double Opt-In, for compliance with the DSGVO compliance requirements that have been in force in the EU since 2018, provides a remedy here. We explain below how Double Opt-In is implemented with Mautic.
But first things first.
The principle of Double Opt-In is simple:
It should be noted that these steps apply to general, non-sensitive customer communications. Communications of sensitive information (e.g., individual health or financial information) follow a different process, which we do not discuss here.
1. Generate customer interest for receiving communication
All measures aimed at getting customers actively interested in relevant topics of companies. E.g.: social media posts, personal emails, website visits, etc.
2. Subscribe to communication
As a rule, customer contact data (e.g. email address and name) is collected via online forms and stored in the company CRM system. According to the GDPR, there must be a separate opt-in option for each communication option. With Single Opt-In, this would end the registration process.
3. Send subscription confirmation
This is where Double Opt-In “starts”. In this step, a message is sent to the specified email address. This serves to confirm the received email address and request. In addition, customer identification data (e.g. IP address, customer login data and/or specific computer configurations) are also stored at each step. These should enable the processed registrations to be clearly assigned to a customer if required. The exact time of each interaction step is also recorded each time as a timestamp.
4. Confirm subscription
The registration confirmation sent usually contains a confirmation link. This is unique to the registration received and the customer can confirm their registration by simply clicking on it. Again, identification data including timestamp are recorded for traceability purposes.
5. Receive communication
With the receipt of the registration confirmation, all requirements are now fulfilled in order to communicate with customers until revoked. Please note that only those contents will be sent for which a confirmation of registration has been received. “Multi-subscriptions”, where multiple elements are linked to only one confirmation, are not allowed under the GDPR.
2. What are the advantages of Double Opt-In
One thing is clear. The longer processes are, no matter what they are, the more customers tend not to complete them. “Keep it simple” just always wins from the customer’s perspective. So why prolong the process of signing up for communications by double opting in?
The advantages may not be obvious at first glance, but they speak for themselves.
2.1 Ensure DSGVO compliancy
As soon as communication takes place with customers from the EU, Swiss companies must also comply with the applicable guidelines of the new Data Protection Regulation (DPA), which came into force in 2018. Especially when communicating with end customers. Double Opt-In, as described in Section 1, ensures compliance and protects against legal action.
2.2 Improve email sender reputation
Today’s e-mail programs and providers try to block unwanted messages or spam in advance so that they do not end up in the recipient’s inbox. To identify questionable email senders, so-called “reputation” metrics are used. Every e-mail provider has developed its own strategy for this. Among other things, however, it also determines which sender is sending out more emails that are either not delivered or not read. If the number of such emails is above average, the reputation of the sender suffers. The emails sent by them are then more likely to be marked as spam.
High email “deliverability”, i.e. successful delivery of sent emails, helps to ensure sender reputation. And that brings us to the next advantage of Double Opt-In with Mautic.
2.3 Improve contact quality
Who doesn’t know this: when typing in an email address, you make a mistake. I quickly clicked on “Send” and the email was saved incorrectly. Or, if you want to have some fun, you subscribe to a newsletter and give it the email address of a work colleague. Without his knowledge, he now receives, thanks to Single Opt-In, the latest gardening tips directly into his mailbox.
For a company, neither case is desirable. On the one hand, there are customers who are seriously interested in products but, thanks to an incorrectly entered e-mail address, do not receive the product updates. On the other hand, as a company I “harass” customers who do not want to receive any messages from me. The result: sent emails are not delivered or marked as spam. And this in turn affects the sender’s reputation.
Double Opt-In thus ensures a high quality of the stored contact data.
2.4 Strengthen relationships with customers
Only when companies only communicate with customers who are really interested and then only report on what customers have explicitly asked for, do dialogues develop at eye level. This promotes customer trust and enables a sustainably improved customer relationship.
3. What are the risks of Double Opt-In
3.1 Increased complexity of processes
Each additional process step increases the overall complexity and the risk of errors. This also increases the costs for conception, development, implementation and operation of Double Opt-In processes.
3.2 Lower subscription rates
With increasing complexity, the “keep it simple” advantage of Single Opt-In is mostly lost. As a result, many customers do not complete the registration confirmation process. This may be because the received confirmation email gets lost in the “inbox swamp” or because of simple ignorance of what an additional confirmation step is all about. The reasons are many, and it cannot be denied that Double Opt-In inevitably leads to lower sign-up rates.
However, easy-to-understand communication that guides customers through the individual steps can reduce the extent of sign-up failures. We’ll go into more detail in Section 4, “Implementing Double Opt-in with Mautic.”
These two points represent the greatest risks and are representative of many other small but easily assessable risks. You need to be aware of this when implementing Double Opt-In. In the end, however, the advantages of Double Opt-In outweigh the disadvantages.
4. Implementing Double Opt-In with Mautic
Section 1 illustrates the basic process of Double Opt-In. In the following we explain the steps to implement Double Opt-In with Mautic. The assumption is that appropriate marketing activities will generate interested customers for relevant corporate communications.
4.1 Collect request
In order to capture the requests, Mautic requires three elements: a contact form, a sign-up landing page, and a segment. “Segments”, “Forms” and “Landing Pages” can be found in the left menu tree. The latter two under the menu item “Components”.
If customers choose from several different communications or can be addressed via different communication channels, explicit consent (checkbox) is required for each individual channel and communication content.
Subscription landing page:
The form is integrated into a specially created registration landing page. The landing page provides accurate information about what customers are signing up for and what happens next in the sign-up process. The landing page can also be used to inform customers about other offers or products. This opportunity for an even closer customer relationship should not go unused.
We explain what makes a good landing page in our blog: “5 Tips for Successful Landing Pages in 2021”.
Segments combine contacts stored in Mautic to form a target group. They form the starting points for campaigns. In our case, all requests / contacts collected via the form are recorded in a specially created segment (for example, called “Communication”).
The easiest way to do this is to store the segment assignment as an action in the form. This action is automatically executed when the form is submitted.
4.2 Send confirmation email
In our “Communication” segment, we have now captured all interested contacts who signed up via the signup landing page. This segment now serves as the starting point of our double opt-in confirmation campaign, which, according to the procedure in section 1, sends a confirmation email to the registered email address. The content of the email must reflect the communication selection entered in the form.
Since this step goes beyond single opt-in, careful crafting (image, text and CTAs) of the email is essential. The right choice of words, a well thought-out layout, professional images and simple CTAs ensure that trust is created, the customer understands what is expected of him and sign-up rates remain high.
We cover how to create successful emails in our blog: “Aivie Email Template Based on the Leaked Amazon Template and Best Practices”.
The confirmation email should cover the following points:
- Why does the customer receive the email
- What has s/he subscribed to
- What is being confirmed
- What are the next steps in the subscription process
- What exactly is being expected from the customer
The ability to review privacy policies, change original communication choices, or cancel the registration process should also be available. Although this can encourage abandonment, it increases the quality of the customer data collected.
The confirmation of registration requested in the email should be as simple as possible for the customer. Usually this can be done through a unique link in the email. Clicking on this now takes the customer to a confirmation landing page. Again, with identification information and timestamp recorded in the system, this click is considered the final confirmation of registration.
The confirmation campaign should be automated to the extent that if the confirmation email is not opened or the link is not clicked, reminder or explanation emails are sent to guide the customer through the remaining sign-up process.
4.3 Confirmation landing page
To complete the registration process, the customer is taken to a confirmation landing page after clicking on the link in the confirmation email. This is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
This is another opportunity for companies to present themselves from their best side or to offer additional products and information. But basically this landing page serves to thank the customer for the interest shown, to list the subscribed communication again and to give the possibility to change communication preferences.
After visiting this confirmation landing page, our Double Opt-In campaign removes the contact from the “Communication” segment and assigns the customer a “Double Opt-In” tag. Until further notice, the customer will be included in the desired communication campaigns with immediate effect.
DSGVO-compliant with the Aivie Double Opt-In package – fast and easy
Sounds all very simple but seems too time consuming? Then we recommend our Double Opt-In package. Forms, landing pages, segments and campaign logic – all ready to go in one package.
Aivie Double Opt-In package
“at your fingertips”
Implement GDPR-compliant Douple Opt-In – fast and easy. The package contains all you need.