It all started yesterday when Frances Dugan was looking for some stats on double opt-in (DOI) confirmation rates.  I had some old DOI unsub stats, but nothing that would help.  It wasn’t long after that I agreed with Kristen Gregory of Bronto to not being a big fan of DOI.

When asked why Kristen gave a well-present-in-140-character explanation, while I tried to leave an impression before turning the floor over to Meat Loaf….

So how does Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light relate to DOI you ask?

Instead of parodying the entire 8 minute song, I’ll cut right to the chase.  As a subscriber; I won’t love you forever.  I don’t need you, and I’ll eventually leave you.  You cannot make me happy for the rest of my life, and asking me twice doesn’t eliminate strife.

At the moment of subscription maybe it never felt so good or ever felt so right, or maybe I want to sleep on it and give you an answer in the morning….  But if you’ve got what I want and I want it bad enough I’ll swear that I will love you to the end of time.

Let’s think about this for a minute – I’m the buyer; you’re the seller; and you’re asking me if you can trust me before I even get  to know you.  Sure, I think you’re funny and cute, but seriously, you want a commitment from me before we even start a relationship?  I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that….


True story time: Once upon a time a somewhat fascistic deliverability person with my ESP decided that my company – and everyone else’s – needed to move to DOI.  Were I a newb or someone easily intimidated by my vendors, I’d have looked pretty stupid going to my boss only to have him tell me that vendors don’t dictate our business practices. 

How did I solve it?  That was easy.  The tail don’t wag the dog, so I asked what his boss’s boss might say if we were to take our annual $.75mm to a more reasonable (and respectful) ESP – and we all know what his boss’s boss would say….

But back to the SOI v. DOI debate; none of this is new, and I gotta tell ya, it begins to feel like a scene from Groundhog Day sometimes.  Ben Isaacson from Experian posted some good thoughts on SOI v. DOI seven years ago, and  Bill McCloskey’s post, “Are You Really, Really Sure?” from last year brought some of the best discussion (4 pages of comments) on the topic in a long time – this one’s my favorite.

But when it’s all said and done, what’s good for one company might not be good for another.  There are too many variables to make a blanket statement that one method is better than the other.  There are so many other things to worry about with email that if there’s nothing left to do to improve your program results, don’t let DOI v. SOI be your last battlefield.  I know, that wasn’t a Meat Loaf clip, but it’s all coming back to me now….