by Neil Schwartzman
For some time now I have contended that Confirmed Opt-in, 'COI' is dead, or at the very least on life support. It certainly is not a major factor in the continued relation between sender and receiver; that relies far more heavily on the ongoing and historical reputation of the mailer and the mail stream. Proof of permission doesn't scale; end-users complain all the time, but it is rare if not impossible for a receiving site to request proof when an end-user complains, then the receiver complains to the sender, and the sender says that permission was actually in place. Much more commonly, the sender unsubscribes the address and moves on, permission or not, since the subscriber doesn't want the mail any more.
But then, I recently had two eye-opening experiencee as to exactly why Confirmed Opt-in is critical to the email whole equation.
As you probably know, CAUCE recently had some major news, we announced it here on our website and we also did a mailing to our membership lists. One email resulted in someone challenging us on their subscription — the subscriber instisted he had never signed up to our lists and was pretty upset.
We pulled out his Confirmed, "Double" Opt-in record, showed him the date and time he asked to be subscribed, and the time and date he clicked through on the confirmation mail.