Confirmed Opt-In Subscription Process Explained
Posted on 25 November 2003 07:41 AM
The FutureQuest Terms of Service require that all mailing lists be operated under a Confirmed Opt-In subscription process.
Confirmed Opt-In is a process by which email addresses are subscribed to a mailing list only after careful measures have been taken to ensure that the owner of the email address wishes to be added to the mailing list. Confirmed Opt-In is sometimes also referred to by other names, such as Double-Opt-In and Verified-Opt-In.
Mailing List owners may collect email addresses of potential subscribers in a variety of ways. Some examples:
Before adding the subscriber to the mailing list, regardless of the means by which the email address was obtained, it is important to verify that:
It is possible that a third party may have provided the email address without the permission or knowledge of the email address owner. This can be intentional and malicious, or completely unintentional. Therefore, the list owner must verify the request in order to prevent persons from being subscribed without their knowledge or permission. Additionally, one cannot assume that merely because a person purchased a product from your company, or provided their business card, that this indicates they would like to receive your mailings. It is important to obtain explicit permission to add the email address to the mailing list.
In order to meet both of these requirements, a Confirmed Opt-In process should be used.
The primary benefit of Confirmed Opt-In is to protect your list and site against "spam" complaints, which can ultimately lead to account termination. As an added benefit of the Confirmed Opt-In process, only valid, functioning email addresses are added to the mailing list, foiling accidental typos by the submitter or list owner. By confirming that the address is valid and functioning, you ensure that your mailings reach your intended audience and also protect against elevated loads from the mail server dealing with a large numbers of bounce messages.
To implement a Confirmed Opt-In process, as required by the FutureQuest Terms of Service, you will need to send a confirmation email to each email address before it is subscribed to the mailing list.
The confirmation email must have the following characteristics:
Additionally, for a better presentation and relationship with potential subscribers, you may also wish to include the following in the confirmation notice:
Please note that the ezmlm mailing list software, which is pre-installed on all FutureQuest® servers, provides a built-in Confirmed Opt-In process when an email is sent from the potential subscriber to the list subscription address, handling all of the requirements above transparently and automatically for the list owner. Additionally, FutureQuest® provides a subscribe/unsubscribe form for your website, which also uses the same automatic Confirmed Opt-In process. Should you wish to implement your own script to use this automatic Confirmed Opt-In process with FutureQuest's ezmlm/idx mailing list software, simply have your script send a request notice to
[mailing list]-subscribe-[username]=[example.com]@lists.[my domain]
where you replace all of the bracketed items above with the actual information.
[mailing list] should be replaced with your actual list name.
Note that the FutureQuest® Service Desk cannot provide direct support for implementing third party scripts, so we recommend seeking assistance for such implementation from the script vendor or from FutureQuest's Site Owner Community Forums.
For additional details about the Confirmed Opt-In processes, including how and why they should be used, as well as additional Mail List Prectices you may find this site helpful: