Dancing the two-step at the e‑marketing ball | ACMA


28 May, 2015 09:30 AM


Dancing the two-step at the e‑marketing ball

By Gus Ortega-Montiel


Using e-marketing in your business can seem like a frantic dance at times. Making sure you comply with e-marketing laws in a rapidly shifting tech space, coupled with the ever-present pressure to drive revenue, can leave you desperately trying to stay on your feet. Put a foot wrong in one direction and you’re in danger of angering customers, having your account blacklisted and running afoul of regulators. Put a foot wrong in the other and you risk depriving yourself of potential business.

To avoid slipping and ending up in a crumpled, sorry heap on the dance floor, consider learning the ‘two-step’ in order to manage your subscriber list.

What is it?

Much like dancing the two-step, a double opt-in is a simple, age-old and elegant routine:

  • A consumer signs up to join your e-marketing list—either by any ‘traditional’ method like subscribing via your webpage or sign-up box, or when they make a purchase from you.
  • You then immediately send the consumer a confirmation message—this includes a link they can click on to confirm they agree to receive your commercial electronic messages. Only then should you add the address to your marketing list.

Why bother?

You don’t want the music to stop altogether—and sending out unsolicited commercial electronic messages can have serious consequences. Not only could you find yourself in trouble for sending messages without consent under the Spam Act, you might damage your company’s reputation in the process. 

So, consent is important. And, while a ‘single opt-in’ might seem to be enough of a guarantee, this isn’t necessarily the case. Email addresses of random customers are commonly and easily added by third parties—whether inadvertently, innocently or even maliciously.

As you can see, not including this crucial second step can all-too-easily leave you with an unwilling partner. Double opt-in helps you prove that a request to receive your marketing material came from the actual owner of an email address or phone number, and will not only protect your reputation but keep you out of regulatory hot water.