You know those people who sign up, but then don't confirm? I did a little test.

You know those people who subscribe to your newsletter, but then don't confirm? It drives me crazy.

I did a little test and wanted to share the results. I had about 40 people who signed up for the Scrappy MarTech newsletter but did not confirm their email. These were people from 30 days+ days ago. I sent an email to try to reactive them and get them to resubscribe.

The results were 2 re-subscribes, or 5%. Open rate 19%, click-thru rate 10%. No complaints or unsubscribe. Take with a grain of salt because 40 is a very small data set.

I hate the friction of a double opt-in list. But it looks like they didn't confirm for a reason. Either the email address is wrong, or undeliverable, or going to spam folders, or they really aren't interested.

They are probably better left alone.

  1. 5

    Even though you might lose some people with your current system, what matters is that you are building a tight list of people who really care about your content (I'm one of them!)

    With logology, we used to require people to signup before seeing logos. It got us lots of subscribers, but with terrible open rates. We then made signup optional and got 5x less signups, but way more engaged.

    It feels way better to send an email that's read by 60% of people than by just 15% 😅. It's also the kind of metric that email services use to decide if you're going to spam or not. So the higher the open rate, the better.

    You will always lose "some" people, but I think the reality is that they weren't super engaged anyway. They were more likely to never open your mail, or simply unsubscribe later, which would hurt you in the long run.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. 2

      Thanks for the kind words. BTW, I'm checking out logology now. Looks pretty great. Putting it on my list of clever MarTech tools.

      1. 2

        Oh that's great! I discovered splitbee last week thanks to you 🙏

        1. 2

          Isn't Splitbee a gem of a product?

          I'm really liking it, particularly for a/b testing instead of using google optimize & google analytics.

  2. 4

    Are you sure they are not bots? I used to have a tons of signups from inactive people. I didn't do anything at first because more signups felt good to the ego. But after a while I realized they were bots...

    Why would bots signup might you ask? To flood email inboxes with the emails of the thousands of services they subscribe to, in order to hide a potentially important emails (security breach) to the legit owner of these inboxes.

    The solution: Captcha.

    1. 3

      Captcha is a good solution, but I always find it irritating filling out the captcha as a user.

      A less intrusive method is to add a form field that's position absolute -5000px. The user will never see it, but most bots will fill it out. You can have code that treats these signups as bot signups. Mailchimp also does it with their generated forms.

      Someone could write an advanced bot to get past it, but it seems pretty reliable so far. It's also a lot more convenient for users.

      1. 1

        Cool solution! Easy to setup, Google-less, and pretty solid until bots are targeted to your site specifically (which is a rich man's problem). I'll keep it in mind.

  3. 2

    Nice to see someone test this theory out!

    "They are probably better left alone." 🙌

    Thanks for sharing

  4. 2

    Thanks for sharing! And yes indeed, perhaps some of them provide false information. So I think this exercise is good for people who need an affirmation.

    I’m wondering how’s your re-activation email looks like? What’s the major winning trait?

    1. 1

      Here's the text of the re-activation email:

      Subject: Uh-oh!

      Do you remember a few weeks ago you signed up for the Scrappy MarTech newsletter?

      Well, there seems to be a bit of a problem. I never received your subscription confirmation.

      I know it's a bit of a pain. These confirmation emails tend to get lost or forgotten about.

      If you are still interested in receiving Scrappy MarTech, could you re-subscribe?

      Re-Subscribe Now>

      After you re-subscribe, be sure to look for the confirmation email that has the subject line "Action Required: Confirm your subscription to Scrappy MarTech." In that email, click the big blue button that says "Confirm my subscription".

      If you cannot find it, let me know so I can help you.

      Thank you so much!

      Michele Hsu
      [email protected]

      P.S. Here is the issue archive, along with the latest issue for you to catch up:

      Scrappy MarTech #16
      Customer Profiles
      MarTech Hunt: FlowMapp. Beautiful customer personas & journey maps.
      Bite-Sized Solutions: How to Explore Customer Profiles using Excel PivotTables.
      Growth Marketing Tip: The Secret to Customer Segmentation.

      Read More

      1. 2

        Very nice example! Thanks for sharing @Revgabba

  5. 2

    I have a lot of pending subscribers too, on average 1 out of 4 doesn’t verify their email.

    1. 2

      Thanks for sharing that stat. That's about what I have too.

  6. 2

    I would not be too worried about these almost-subscribers. The ones that are really into your content will definitely go through the trouble and confirm.

  7. 2

    Agree, confirmation emails are bad UX experience and you gain very little out of the confirmation. Ideally you would like to get users that want to be contacted, or at least interested enough to give away their email.

    Btw, Michele, any chance to get SocialQ featured in your newsletter. I think is a good match for your readers, and we might be glad to offer a nice deal for them :)

    1. 2

      Unfortunately, if you're in the EU or have customers in the EU, you have to have a double opt-in form. If you don't know where your customers are coming from, it's definitely better to be safe than sorry.

    2. 2

      Just took a quick look at SocialQ. Really nice stuff! I'm giving it a spin.

      1. 2

        Thank you, Michele! I appreciate your words. 🙏
        Let's keep in touch :)

  8. 2

    Use double optin, otherwise people may enter any email just out of curiosity to see what they will get after.

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