The only saving grace is that the better-managed newsletters ask you to confirm that you really really want to receive emails from them. They do this by sending a single email – normally with a clickable confirmation link – to the email address entered on their subscription form.
If you don’t respond to the confirmation email, you don’t get any follow-up emails. That’s how things are supposed to work. And it’s called double opt-in.
Rather, as the majority of companies have moved to single opt-in, recipients have become re-educated on how email marketing confirmation works. Today, most people don’t expect or look for a double opt-in confirmation message when they subscribe to a newsletter.
Indeed, we’ve seen double-opt in rates within MailChimp slip to 39%. This means 61% of people start but do not finish the double opt-in process.
Maybe that’s because some people are given the opportunity to not be spammed, either when they perhaps didn’t intend to subscribe to a company’s emails, or perhaps they had the chance to second-guess their subscription after seeing their already-full inbox. That’s a good thing.
Via Michael Tsai, who writes:
For what it’s worth, nearly all the newsletters I subscribe to still use double opt-in.
Two things have saved my inbox from becoming a complete disaster over the past couple of years: double opt-in, and iOS’ prompt to unsubscribe from newsletter emails.
This announcement from MailChimp coincides with Julia Angwin’s report for ProPublica explaining how easily thousands of malicious subscriptions overwhelmed her email inbox and prevented her from doing her job.