Double Opt-In: Is it Really Worth It?
Most email marketing software contains a double opt-in feature that allows you to verify a subscriber really wants to be on your list by sending a confirmation email with link. Subscribers have to click on this link to receive any other messages from you.
Even though this is popular way to make sure those on your list personally signed up and are generally interested in hearing from you, double opt-in may actually deter people from signing up.
Benefits of Email Verification
The benefits of double opt-in really come down to verifying that the person wants to be on your mailing list. Unfortunately, some people are unknowingly added to email lists by other people as a prank or are victims of identity theft. Double opt-in provides you with a little extra layer of protection in case you're accused of sending spam to those who don't want to be on your list.
Another benefit of email verification is that extra step in clicking on the confirmation link could be all the separates the semi-interested and the very interested. Building a profitable list requires a high percentage of those who really, really want to buy what you have to offer (all they're waiting for a little bit more information or incentive to make a purchase - this is why they signed up). Using double opt-in could help you separate both groups and build a better list.
Downside of Double Opt-In
The main downside of asking people to verify they signed up to receive messages from is the extra step. While this step should hypothetically separate those mostly interested and those who are very interested, it may just separate the lazy from those taking a passive interest in your bulk emails.
Lazy people still buy things - you could be missing out multiple sales simply because you required people to sign up and provide their email and then click a link to confirm something they already wanted to do. This actually turns many people off as they just want to receive whatever information they have and move along to making a purchase - not having to go through this long, drawn-out, tedious process just to get an email from you occasionally (signing up and clicking a link may not seem like much work for you, but for some people, it's a big waste of time).
What to Do?
If you're unsure about whether to use double opt-in, you can always try it out and see what happens. Every niche is different - the people you market your products to may be the most energetic people in the world who don't mind taking that one last step to receive your high volume email. On the other hand, your niche may be comprised of some very lazy people who find pushing the 'delete' button much easier than a link.