1. How do I explain the additional steps to new subscribers when they sign up for the newsletter?
- Information. After new subscribers enter their information, clearly inform them that an additional step is required to activate the newsletter subscription ("We have added your email address to our list. To activate ... "). Explain why this step is necessary. For example, "to prevent other people from subscribing using your email address" or "to validate your email address".
- Link. Instruct recipients to activate their subscription after entering their information. If possible, provide a link to their mailbox for activating the subscription. You can use the domain parts of the email address to determine which email provider the recipient is using and to create a link to the specific service. Example: If the new subscriber has an firstname.lastname@example.org address, then you can display a "Go to my email inbox" link that takes them to the login page at www.example.com.
- When to send the confirmation email. You should send the confirmation email as soon as possible after the sign up, so it can be activated quickly. The recipient may otherwise forget the reason for the confirmation email or lose interest in the newsletter.
2. What should I be aware of when setting up the activation email?
- Subject. Ensure that your activation email has a meaningful subject line that directly prompts the user to take action. For example, "Please confirm your email address".
- Sender.The sender name is often the first thing that a person sees and should be recognizable. You should use a consistent sender name for emails, including the activation email. Give your potential subscriber an option to reply to the activation email (avoid using a noreply@...email address).
- Presentation. The activation email should avoid using large blocks of text and complicated layouts. Your recipient needs to click the confirmation link. Help them by providing concise and accurate instructions along with a clearly visible confirmation link.
- Spam suspicion. Inform new subscribers that emails from new and previously unknown senders may land in their spam/junk mail or unknown mail folders. If the recipient cannot find the confirmation email, they should check these folders.
3. What problems can arise when using the confirmation link in an activation email?
- Short length. Make sure that the confirmation link is not too long. Otherwise, there is a danger that it may get broken across two lines and no longer work. In case this happens, you should offer a solution to your subscribers, for example, "If the link does not work, copy both lines into the address bar of your browser." You should further ensure that the confirmation link stands out from the other text in the message, even if the email preview area is small.
- Correct link. A further potential source of problems is a confirmation link that does not work. This can happen if the link contains a special character, which causes Outlook or Thunderbird to incorrectly highlight it and thus send the user to a blank page. Another frequent link problem is forgetting to use the HTML anchor tag properly. Check that the confirmation link is correct.
4. How can I avoid any possible problems with the sign up process?
- Address book entry. Tell new subscribers to add your email sender address to their personal address book or list of secure senders. You can say something like "To ensure that you receive our newsletter...". This will ideally be supplemented with a link to instructions for common email programs and webmail providers to help with this step. You can also provide a vCard that can be used with some email programs to add your contact data to the address book with a single mouse click.
- Help / contact options. Give the user options for providing feedback or contacting you (email address, chat, free phone number, "not working" button) in case of problems with registration or confirmation. This can also be an important feedback channel for identifying problems or areas for improvement in the process. A more elegant solution is to provide contact information for a personal adviser or customer support representative , if this would be appropriate or possible.
- Resending. Provide the recipient the option of having the activation email resent in the event that it has not arrived within the first few minutes or the recipient is unable to find it.
With the help of a special function you can automatically send the last newsletter sent to newly subscribed recipients as soon as they have gone through the opt-in process. For more information, see Scheduled jobs.