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Double Opt-in Email Vs Single Opt-in: Which Is A Better Email List Strategy?

Jun 10, 2021 | Online Strategy

email subscription opt in form

When you set up an email marketing system, you normally have to make a decision about whether or not you want to have a double opt-in or a single opt-in sign up process in order to get subscribers on your email list.

There are pros and cons to each depending on what your goals and priorities are. Here, I’ll cover the main aspects to help you make a decision about which one to go with — double opt-in or single opt-in.

What is double opt-in in email marketing?

A double opt-in refers to the process where an email list subscriber has to confirm their email subscription before they are added to your email list.

This is how it works:

  1. The user enters their email address on the signup page
  2. An automatic email is sent to the email address with a confirmation link
  3. The user must click the confirmation link in order to be added to the email list

If the user doesn’t confirm their email subscription by clicking the confirmation link in the email, they will not be a confirmed subscriber and therefore will not receive the upcoming emails. That means if they signed up to receive a freebie, this won’t get delivered.

Ultimately, when you use the double opt-in method, this cuts down on bad email addresses being added to your email list. Bad email addresses normally come from users either entering fake email addresses or making a spelling error, or it could be automated spam bots that are filling your email signup form.

The benefits are that you have a much better quality email list because the subscribers are confirmed, and therefore want to be on your list. This will help with better engagement and responsiveness of the list.

Your email account would also have a better email sending reputation as you’d have less bounced emails and better open rates.

What is a single opt-in?

In the case of a single opt-in, users don’t have to confirm their email address before being added to the email list. As soon as they complete the signup form, they are added.

This is great for maximising the number of people that get added to your email list as there are less steps for them to go through. 

A single opt-in system is also simpler to set up as there are less steps to implement. You just need the landing page and pretty much that’s it.

However, on the flip side of that, you’ll most likely end up having a lot of bad email addresses and a less engaged list. This is because a lot of people may not really be interested in your brand but they needed a lead magnet that you offered so they signed up, but they are less likely to open your future emails.

Which one is better, double opt-in or single opt-in?

It depends on what the situation is for you. If you want to grow your email list as fast as possible, a single opt-in is going to get more people on the list more quickly. This means you’ll have a bigger reach and more potential leads, 

You will however have to keep an eye on the health of the list and clean it often to get rid of bad email addresses and unengaged subscribers.

If you are looking to have a higher quality list, then a double opt-in is the way to go. You will see better email delivery and open rates, and most likely higher conversion rates. 

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