Why are Confirmation Emails Important? A Technique to Improve Double Opt-In Confirmation Rate by DailyHoroscope

Learn how DailyHoroscope improved their Double Opt-in confirmation rate.


DailyHoroscope is an astrology project that has been entertaining horoscope lovers and fans of divinations from various countries since 2016. Emails have always been their chief method of interacting with their audience.

To keep this communication channel up and running, DailyHoroscope only works with double opt-in subscribers: they are more active, loyal to the brand, and can hardly damage the project's reputation as a sender. However, at one point, the confirmation rate started dropping. Email redesign, new email copy, and other email-related techniques did not help, so DailyHoroscope chose an unconventional method—on their website, they installed a bar that triggered a confirmation email.

The solution worked—and proved so effective that it is still being actively used to keep the confirmation rate as high as possible.  

Why did DailyHoroscope bother with double opt-ins in the first place?

If you think that sending campaigns to unconfirmed subscribers is not a big deal, we'll have to disappoint you: it is. It might feel like you're losing good leads if you're not following up on them. But in reality, single opt-in subscribers often turn out to be invalid addresses and bots. They can also be humans who're just not interested and will complain about your emails. All of this will increase the undesirable rates of your campaigns: undelivered emails, hard bounces, complaints, and unsubscriptions. And these rates, in their turn, will ruin your reputation as a sender, which will then damage your email deliverability—and result in you not reaching the people who have high conversion potential and are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Are you willing to take that risk?

Email confirmation is an integral part of email marketing. In fact, it's a best practice. And here are three solid reasons why:

  1. It requires minimal effort – a single email with a single CTA: Confirm Your Email.
  2. It helps establish email list hygiene right from the start:
  • Only valid email addresses will enter your database (a subscriber needs to enter it correctly, without any typos, to receive the confirmation email).
  • Bots shall not pass (because, obviously, they won't confirm their email addresses).
  • Only highly interested potential customers will sign up for your mailings—because the double opt-in structure (entering AND confirming the email address) eliminates the risk of signing up by mistake.

A clean, well-maintained email list will protect you from getting blocked by Spamhaus and similar issues.

  1. Sometimes ISPs can "turn on" you as a sender for no apparent reason: they can decide something is wrong with your campaigns, even if nothing is, and change your reputation. But if you have gathered an extensive list of DOI subscribers, you can rely on them to help you recover your reputation.

Of course, email confirmation is not 100% bulletproof, and some unwanted email addresses might get on your list, but it will minimize the potential damage. And if you combine it with other best practices, your sending reputation will always be safe.

Confirmation Email Strategy: Version 2016

Now, let's get back to DailyHoroscope. At first, they only sent confirmation emails triggered by the subscription event. But it soon proved not so practical: most people who just wanted to read horoscopes did precisely that: they picked out the emails that brought daily horoscopes to their inboxes and only read them, leaving the confirmation emails unopened. But the DailyHoroscope team was determined to avoid sending to single opt-in subscribers. They wanted to use their mailing resources freely and safely, and this was only possible if they worked with a double opt-in email list.

The next step was to find out how the project could convert more leads to double opt-in subscribers. Of course, it took a lot of work.

When dealing with a low confirmation rate, the first—and probably the most natural—impulse is to fix the confirmation email

  • tweak its subject line,
  • toy with the tone of voice, and
  • add more urgency and meaning, and so on.

DailyHoroscope did all that, but the performance of the renewed email still left much to be desired.

Their next step was to create a sequence of confirmation emails to repeatedly remind the subscribers about the vital step. Unfortunately, the step was only vital for the project, not its subscribers. So, the numerous efforts to improve the confirmation rates and maintain a clean DOI-only email list remained what they were—just efforts, not results.

And then, the DailyHoroscope team had a eureka moment: they realized they could shift focus from emails to the website. The team knew that their audience wanted to read their horoscopes, so, confirmed or non-confirmed, they would still visit the website daily and check the reading for their sign. This is why the page with their daily horoscope received an addition—a confirmation bar.

What is the Confirmation Bar?

The confirmation bar was a CTA block that appeared on the page with each sign's daily horoscope. It only became visible if the page was viewed by a subscriber who was logged in to their account on DailyHoroscope but still needed to confirm their email address.

This is what the bar looked like initially a couple of years back:

When a subscriber saw the bar and hit the Send Me a Confirmation Email button, the confirmation email was re-sent to their email address:

After the confirmation email was re-sent, the confirmation bar was hidden from the page—to remove friction and avoid irritating the subscriber. However—and this is very important—if the subscriber still failed to confirm their email address, the confirmation bar reappeared.

Fast-forward to 2022: Confirmation Bar Still Going Strong

The confirmation bar strategy proved so effective that it is still working on the website. The bar currently looks much fancier and offers an incentive—the Ultimate Horoscope Pack:

It goes without saying that devising the gift horoscope pack took time, effort, and money. However, it has been helping DailyHoroscope win its subscribers over from the very start and increase customer engagement. Thanks to that, the "free" horoscope pack has already paid off many times over.

With time, the post-click logic changed slightly, too: a subscriber who hits the target button now sees a different version of the bar that encourages them to visit their inbox and finally confirm that email:

And if they fail to do that, they'll have to keep seeing the original Confirm Bar until they confirm their email address.

Let's take a look at the confirmation campaign and confirmation bar results from October 2022:

About 55% of those who used the button in the confirmation bar opened their confirmation email — twice as much as the email campaign's open rate. And 2,761 of 7,426 recipients confirmed their email addresses and became DOI subscribers — a stunning 37.4%! The standard confirmation email campaign also had excellent rates, but its click-to-delivery rate was 3.5 times lower —10.8%.
As for the potentially damaging metrics, only 0.19% lost their loyalty to the brand: 13 people unsubscribed, and just one person complained about the confirmation email.  

And last but not least, these are only the October 2022 results. The confirmation bar continues helping to engage hundreds and thousands of visitors and convert them into DOI subscribers month after month.  

Life has become so fast-paced that we need to engage with our audience and potential customers immediately while they are focused on our brand and recognizing its relevance. For DailyHoroscope, the confirmation bar worked out as an effective method of involving their audience in a valuable interaction. It's become one of the starting points of a long-standing personalized relationship with their customers.

Of course, you can modify the method to match your business. You can take the idea but transform the bar into a notification bell or any other icon/object that will draw your audience's attention. Or you can use the bar idea but apply it to reach a different goal, e.g., to gather more information about your leads or involve them in a different interaction. Feel free to get in your website visitors' faces, to pop up and say: this is the opportunity you can jump on right now, don't miss out on it!

Over to you

Would you like to learn more about InboxSuite and apply it in your email marketing program? Get in touch with our team of experts and see how we can help! Book a demo today.

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