The CRM (Customer relationship management) software our nonprofit uses has the unfortunate shortcoming of not including a double opt-in system for subscribers.

What is Double Opt-In?

Double opt-in is the process that requires new subscribers to confirm their intention of signing up to your email list. After a new lead has filled out a form to join your list, a confirmation email is sent to them, asking them to confirm their intention of joining your email list. The new lead clicks on the link in the email, and they are added to your list.

Why is Double Opt-In Important?

At times zealous (or even malicious) people will sign others up to your email list without their consent. Unless you use a double opt-in system, you cannot be certain that the new lead actually wants to receive your emailings. Since the confirmation email you send after a signup goes directly to their inbox and requires them to confirm their intent, there is no way someone will unintentionally join.

Without double opt-in, you will get angry emails from people who do not believe in your cause and did not intend to sign up to your email list. Worst, many of these people will report your emails as spam. This will make your domain less likely more difficult for deliverability.

So, double opt-in is essential. But not all CRMs include this functionality. This is where Zappier becomes very useful.

What is Zapier

Zappier is a connecting software that makes it possible for hundreds of different softwares to interact with each other that would normally not be able to.

In our case, we needed to use an email service for double opt-in prior to new leads being put on our emailing list. To solve this, we used MailChimp.

Double Opt-In Using Zapier and MailChimp

Here is the setup we used:

  1. New lead signs up through Facebook ad
  2. Zapier pulls the lead into its system
  3. Zapier connects with MailChimp and sends the lead information there
  4. MailChimp sends a confirmation email (for double opt-in) to the lead
  5. New lead confirms intent
  6. Is subscribed to a list in MailChimp
  7. And sent a welcome email
  8. A new Zap is initiated to pull the new subscriber back into the Zapier system
  9. Zapier sends the new lead to Virtuous, where it becomes part of the organization’s CRM and permanent mailing list
  10. One week later, MailChimp archives the new lead (optional)

As of this writing, April 26, 2020, it has been one week since we implemented this system. All seems well. In a month or two I will check our spam report and update this document.

The info graphic below shows the basic diagram and final process of how we put this together.