Using confirmation to get good email addresses


For 25 hours the group De La Soul is releasing their entire catalog for free online. What none of the articles are mentioning is that they’re using this to build their database of email addresses in a way that’s going to result in a clean database of high value email addresses.
How are they doing that? By making sure the addresses belong to their fans before they actually give fans access to the catalog. Yes, they are using confirmation as part of their signup process.
If you go to their website: you’re asked for an email address so they can send the downloads to you.
The fine print is the interesting bit:

Once you click submit you’ll need to confirm your email address and we’ll send you the download links as soon as we can.
There are lots of people wanting the music so it might take a few hours!

After you submit the mail, you’re taken to a webpage that tells you what to expect. The interesting bit here is the suggestion to look in your promotions tab if you’re using Gmail. Although I’m hearing that it turned up in the updates tab rather than the promotions tab.
Thanks to Mailchimp’s awesome infrastructure, the confirmation email arrived by the time I switched windows to look at my mail client.
Another clear, well branded message that gives explicit instructions on what to do.
Finally, I got through the confirmation process and am now waiting to be emailed a link to what, I’m assuming, is my custom download site.
This is a great way for De La Soul to step onto the email stage. They now have a confirmed list of email addresses belonging to fans. They can use that list to keep fans updated and announce promotions. They don’t have to worry at all about sending any future emails to people who didn’t agree to receive the mail.
Fans get access to their music and songs. It’s a win-win all around and a great example of how confirmed opt-in can actually work.

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  • By signing people up for a mailing list, which they can then segment and send download directions to, rather than sending the download link immediately as part of the COI process they can also control the download rate, and avoid having their download servers crashing and really annoying people.
    Delayed gratification for the music, but there’s still immediate feedback during the capture process.

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