Contest Email List - Do I Need to Do Double Opt-In?

10 replies
I did a giveaway for two of the (authentic German) cuckoo clocks (I designed) with a company that has two enthusiast magazines. My clocks received the largest signups of any contest ever for both magazines.

The advertising manager sent me a cleaned list for the first one. I created a list for it in Mail Chimp and sent a newsletter about the clock they had entered to win. While watching all the activity on my site with great glee I noticed email warnings. Jeez, people had been reporting my emails as spam! There weren't enough for them to shut me down, but it wasn't exactly pleasant.

All of those people had of course agreed to receive emails from me when they agreed to the contest rules. We know how many read them.

I just received the second scoured list of about 7,500 names. Should I:

1) Send an email to them that clearly state starting in the headline and subheading the magazine name, that it was a contest they entered, and then go beyond my normal unsubscribe at the bottom and instead explain (amongst the pretty photos of my amazing clocks) how I got their names, etc.

2) If so, should I sent it out to 1,000 people at a time, so if it does blow up I can stop it

3) Or should I send an opt in email and go the double opt in route? I'm trying not to feel like "Hey I paid for these email addresses, they are MINE!"

Thanks for any insight,

#contest #double #email #list #optin
  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I would add a reference regarding the contest.

    Are you able to upload a list to mailchimp and send it without it first being sent a confirmation message? They use to not let you do such, but from what you are saying it sounds like that is what you are doing.
    How to Build LARGE EMAIL LISTS on a Budget and MONETIZE Like a PRO
    19 Years Exp . . . . . . . . . . . . Email - CPA - PPL
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    • Profile picture of the author Jodie Davis
      Yup. All you have to do is check a box saying people agreed to receiving emails from you.
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      • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
        Originally Posted by Jodie Davis View Post

        Yup. All you have to do is check a box saying people agreed to receiving emails from you.
        I know you can import a list, but they always required that afterward a confirmation message be sent and users had to double opt-in.
        How to Build LARGE EMAIL LISTS on a Budget and MONETIZE Like a PRO
        19 Years Exp . . . . . . . . . . . . Email - CPA - PPL
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Delapaz
    Hey, Jodie! Interesting predicament you're in, hehe.

    Here are some thoughts to chew on..

    I would definitely avoid doing the double optin route. If you give them another task, they will most likely not optin again.

    If it were me, I'd upload them to a new list on Aweber (that's who I use). I would then notify Aweber support and ask them to disable double optin for that list, and let them know it's going through an api. They'll gladly help you with that.

    I definitely would provide the subscriber the ability to unsubscribe, just because that's the right thing to do. Also, if you don't you'll have a higher chance that they'll report your email as spam.

    I would then send the entire list an email with the subject, "About your Cuckoo Clock Contest that you entered..." just to entice them to actually open the email. It really doesn't matter if you do it 100 or 200 at a time, because if they want to unsubscribe, they'll unsubscribe.

    Then I would explain to them that they didn't win, however, you will be sending them some valuable offers that they would enjoy, along with future contest that they could win.

    If you can get through establishing this initial trust, you're golden!

    Hope I provided some good thoughts and vibes for you :-)

    Great luck to you!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jodie Davis
      Thanks to both of you. That's what I did. And it worked.

      I entitled it "The Winner of the Country Woman Contest..." That's where I made the mistake with the first list, not establishing that we had a connection.

      I also put it very clearly that they could unsubscribe, with an obvious blue link to do so.

      Successful deliveries: 7721
      Opens: 3530
      Total clicks: 314
      Unsubscribed: 248
      Abuse reports: 15

      And no emails for Mail Chimp warning me of the spam reports.

      Gosh, I'm so glad I didn't go the double opt-in!

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  • Profile picture of the author ZachMiller
    1) Your name should be included in the FROM field, it'll show up in most email providers like Gmail

    2) Add the UNSUBCRIBE button to the top of your email, instead of the bottom.. this reduced spam rates when we were re-warming a list..

    3) If this list has not been contacted in the last 3+ months, then I would do a campaign to re-activate those subscribers and find who still has interest..
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    • Profile picture of the author Jodie Davis
      That's for the great suggestions Zach.

      Yes, that's what I did differently this time. Made the language very clear at the top with name of the magazine so it didn't look like someone out of the blue, remind them they entered to win the prize, showed them images of the clock and offered them the option to unsubscribe clearly. It worked!

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  • Profile picture of the author NewEnglandah
    Interesting, I hear that a double opt in is the way to go, because asking for too much information at once is a turn off. Or is that just from a virgin visit to an opt in page? This thread is talking about an already existing opt in list.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jodie Davis
      Exactly. I have double opt-in set up for new subscribers. But these folks had entered a contest for a free $495 cuckoo clock and in doing so agreed to receive emails from me.
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