Confirming addresses in the wild


A lot of marketers tell me “no sender confirms addresses” or “confirming addresses is too hard for the average subscriber.” I find both these arguments difficult to accept. Just today I subscribed to a mailing list that had a confirmation step. The subscription form was pretty simple.

Note the option to receive emails optimized for mobile.
I entered my email address into a webform, hit submit and was taken to another page.
The cut off text says "you'll need to click on the link we sent you to complete the process."
Once I confirmed, I was taken to a thank you page and given the option to modify my mail preferences.
Of course, it’s possible this particular sender is more sophisticated than the average marketer. Take the link labeled “add to address book.” When I clicked this link it downloaded a .vcf card, opened up my address book and set me up to be able to trivially add their sending address to my address book.
Clearly “no one does it” is a poor argument. I don’t sign up for many lists at all. But if I can find examples of companies using confirmation, it can’t be that rare.

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  • A more or less random sample of 600+ newsletters/lists from all over the world (though most of them from English-speaking countries) showed that about one third of them confirmed the subscription. Including many from countries like the US, where such a thing is not legally required. (Even if it is, not everyone does so. Except for Germans, German newsletters require confirmation without exception.)

By laura

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