Originally posted by Salsa Labs

by Brett Schenker, Senior Deliverability Manager, Salsa

You probably already know this, but it is rapidly becoming more difficult to deliver email to individuals, even legitimate email. Some reports say that Gmail is putting nearly 28% of legitimate email in spam boxes.

In the past, content was king. What words you used, image sizes and subjects were all that mattered. While those are still factors, how people react to a given email and list management are the two most important elements when it comes to delivering email.

This blog is the first in a series of three designed to offer you tips and tricks for giving your email the best chance of reaching your subscriber’s inbox. Today’s topic: the opt-in.


All email should be opt-in. Supporters should give an explicit opt-in option, like clicking a box or entering their email. Even better, is the double opt-in, which confirms with the user twice before adding them to the list. It is also acceptable, although not necessarily preferred, to use a tacit opt-in, resulting from an action like a donation or signing a petition. Regardless of which method you choose, opt-in email options help protect your organization from serious consequences due to poor list management.

An opt-in is not needed for “transactional” emails such as sending a receipt after a donation or immediately thanking someone for taking action.

Here are some other tips:

  • Have supporters click a box when signing up or taking action to join your email list. The box should not be pre-checked.
  • Do not assume because someone takes action, donates or becomes a member of your organization they want to receive email.
  • On-board new sign ups reminding people how they joined your list, allowing them to know what to expect as far as email and giving them an opportunity to unsubscribe. Triggers are perfect for this.
  • A double opt-in along with proper list management will result in the best results when it comes to deliverability.

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