A couple of weeks ago I posted a rather benign comment on Aweber’s Blog. The title of the post was How to Tie a Download To Your Opt-in Form. The post was about how to assure that you’re collecting a valid email address in exchange for a download.
Aweber is an email list management and autoresponder service I’ve used for quite some time. I even recommend it to many of my clients. List management is good, delivery is great and their customer service has always been top-notch.
Which is why I was thrown aback after placing this comment on their blog:
I don’t use verified opt-in, so my strategy is slightly different, yet still secure.
I put the link to my pdf download directly in the autoresponder message. That way, if they ’ve given me an incorrect email address, they don ’t have access to link (because it ’s not only the thank you page).
If they do give the correct email, the link directly to the pdf will be delivered to them in their inbox and then can download it at will. I make this clear on my thank you page so that they know where to look for the download.
What I said works and secures the download – just as the post at Aweber explains.
What happened next is what threw me back. A few hours after my comment, I received a rather lengthy email from Justin Premick, Education Marketing Manager – who writes most of the blog posts for Aweber.
In the email he basically disagreed with me about using single opt-in and that my suggestion is not secure. All fine, after all Aweber goes to all lengths to get their users to use verified (double) opt-in. So I basically got ‘schooled’ on how I should be using verified opt-in and how it protects everyone (include Aweber), etc, etc.
I’m thankful for Justin’s concern and fine with his ‘need’ to educate me on the virtues of verified opt-in. I did email him in return thank him and resubmitting my opinion.
What I have trouble with is that we had this discussion in private – by email. You see, he removed my comment from their blog. I know he has every right to do so. Yet, this goes against the very fabric of blogging – conversation in community. That means that we don’t have to agree to have a discussion.
Justin, and perhaps Aweber themselves, must not realize the benefit of carrying on such a conversation within the comments. He could easily have stated his point in the comments and could have responded appropriately. This would have created a dialogue between Aweber and I that everyone could see. It would also allow Aweber to stake its case about verified opt-in by rebutting my stance.
Truthfully, I’ve waited so long to write about this because I was a bit ticked at Justin for removing my comment and for not carrying on our conversation in front of the other commenters at Aweber. I said above, and I’ll repeat – this, to me, goes against the very fabric of blogging.
So I leave Justin with this chance to carrry on a conversation on my blog, where I won’t remove an different opinion. Perhaps we’ll see him show up.
The lesson I’d like to share from all this…use your comments to carry out conversations. Don’t resort to email because you don’t want conflict or because you simply want to control the message being read. Encourage differing opinions and have a friendly debate about it. Everyone learns that way. And everyone wins.
How have comments on your posts or others lead to indepth conversations about a topic?