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Double Opt-in vs Single Opt-in, Which is Better?

Jan 19, 2024 | Online Strategy, Podcast

Future Steps Creative Podcast – Episode #82

Listen or view below:

Knowing whether to use double opt-in for your email marketing is really important as it can determine the quality of your list. In this episode of Future Steps Creative, I discuss the pros and cons so that you can decide which one is best to go with.

Main Takeaways/Overview

*This may have been autogenerated and may not be 100% accurate or grammatically correct.

00:00 Episode on opt-in choices and website profitability.

05:08 Double opt-in recommended to avoid spam issues.

07:33 Email confirmation ensures better quality leads, more engagement.

10:13 Pros of double opt-in for email deliverability.

14:09 Future content will cover simulated double opt-in.


*This may have been autogenerated and may not be 100% accurate or grammatically correct.

Welcome into today’s episode. Today, we’re gonna be covering double opt in versus single opt in. Which one should you choose? Which is better? I’m gonna be covering the pros and the cons between them. I’m gonna be also telling you what I do, and, obviously, you can make an informed decision as a result. Now if you’re new to this whole concept of generating leads and people joining your email list via your website, There’s a whole strategy behind this in terms of making your website more profitable, and you need some fundamentals in place in the 1st place to do that. Now I’ve got a free gift for you that’s gonna help you with that. It’s a checklist that I’ve put together called profitable website checklist. You can grab it and just go through step by step and see exactly what you can optimize on your own website to prepare to generate leads and improve the results that you’re getting on your website? It’s a quick 5 minute read, and you should be able to run through it and start seeing some results once you implement those Actionable steps that I’ve got for you.

Marlon McPherson00:00:59 – 00:01:43

Just head to Marlonmcphersoncom .com/checklist if you wanna grab it. Now if new to my content, welcome in. I do content like this to help you, the online entrepreneur who have services around your knowledge and expertise or Like an online program? I help you with strategy for your website and your online content as well as your email follow-up so you can convert More leads and sales for your business. My name is Marlon Macpherson. You can find me at marlon macpherson.com. So the concept of double opt in versus single opt in, I’ll just explain those in the 1st place. So Picture this. Someone goes to your website or a landing page that you have that you’re promoting something like a lead magnet.

Marlon McPherson00:01:44 – 00:02:25

For example, that checklist I mentioned earlier, that is actually one of my lead magnets, and people who find that valuable will go to my website to that link, and they need to Fill in their details in order for me to send it to them. So they are basically saying, hey. Yes. I’m interested in this thing, and I want you to send it to me. So they’ve got to put in their email address, And that’s the minimum really, but I asked for the name as well. It’s just better for personalization, and it’s just a better way to address people by name. That’s how I see Yep. So once they fill in that form that asks for those details, what happens on the back end of your system is that they’re supposed to be added to your email list.

Marlon McPherson00:02:25 – 00:03:13

Now there are 2 ways, in in which it could work. You could have it So that is a single opt in where they just join your list immediately, or you could have a double opt in where they have to take another step by actually confirming before you add them as a confirmed subscriber? So let’s talk about single opt in And talk about why you probably wanna use it or why you may not wanna use it. So the pros and the cons, essentially. So a single opt in the the first pro is that there’s less friction. People immediately are subscribed onto your list. Once they fill out that form and submit it, That’s it. They’re on your list, and you can theoretically start emailing them immediately. Low friction means You’re gonna grow your list faster.

Marlon McPherson00:03:13 – 00:04:00

You’re gonna get, more people signing up as a result. More people are gonna, go through the process because they’re not Going to get any hurdles to jump through any hoops type of thing? That’s how they see it. Right? You have less setup. That’s the the 2nd, pro. You have less setup to do when it comes to putting together the The system, alright, when it comes together when it comes to putting together the strategy in the system for you, for a single opt in and people joining your list. You don’t have so many steps to implement, so therefore, it’s absolutely, easier for you. Now I’m sure there are other pros as well, but those are the 2 that I could come up with, to be honest with you. Now in terms of the cons, I have a few more or a couple more maybe.

Marlon McPherson00:04:00 – 00:05:07

So the first con is that you run the risk of getting more spam bots joining your list? So your list is gonna get bloated. Your email list is gonna get joined by bots, robots that are Going around on the Internet and filling in forms. We’re not talking about, like, robots that have hands that can type on a keyboard, but these are kind of like Software or scripts that are written by people that are smarter than me, I guess, that they go go across the Internet and try and find Forms to fill in. And opt in forms are vulnerable or the forms that people fill out to join your email list are are vulnerable as a result because There’s no, sort of filter to stop them from actually getting on your list. So, essentially, you’re not gonna know who’s a real person and who’s well, you probably can tell If you go through your list probably to actually see what’s been filled out. But if you’re just like, going to send out an email to your whole list, Chances are you’re gonna be sending to bots. They’re not gonna be real people, a lot in a lot of the cases. Right? So it’s a problem.

Marlon McPherson00:05:08 – 00:06:55

The other thing is you run the risk of being reported by a real person as a spammer, Or your email might get flagged as spam. Why? Because people might have forgotten that they’ve signed up to your email list and because they didn’t take any further Go for any further steps to actually confirm. They, they probably don’t remember, and they’ll probably just click on that, mark a spam button, and therefore, you get your email reputation being messed up because you do have a sending reputation with your email, Your URL, the domain name that you used to send emails with? You can eventually get blacklisted if enough people mark you as spam, so It’s not good practice. The other thing is that it’s not encouraged by GDPR. So GDPR is, a regulation here in, the EU and the UK as well as probably other countries in Europe as well that governs, people’s data And how, people’s data should be handled? I don’t think it’s a mandatory thing that you should have double opt in for GDPR, but It’s something that they do advise you to have in place because it’s just better, for just the confidence of, handling people’s data. There are similar regulations across, in other countries in the world, North America, and so on that actually It says it’s better to have a double opt in because you at least you know people that are on the list actually intended to be there. Somebody could actually fill out some anyone’s email address if you have a single opt in and maliciously add you to a list. So that’s something that you wanna You want to avoid happening when then you end up getting complaints.

Marlon McPherson00:06:56 – 00:07:33

Now let’s talk about double opt in. So double opt in is Where you now have an extra step added in between someone signing in or filling in that form and them actually joining the list. So there’s a go between. There’s an in between. That In between is that you have what’s called a confirmation email that gets gets sent out to their inbox to say, hey. Please confirm that you wish to join or list. And they have to confirm that, yes, this is my email address, and I want to, what I do want to actually subscribe. I do want that thing that you’re promising, and I do wanna hear from you.

Marlon McPherson00:07:33 – 00:08:34

So they have to click a link or a button inside that email to confirm? And once they do that, the system knows that they’ve taken a positive and affirmative action to say that I wanna be on that list. If they don’t take that action, they don’t click the link or the button, they just hang around in a pending zone inside your email software. And, most time most of the times, you have to delete those people because they’re not going to come back and find that email to to actually confirm? Because by then, they’ve forgotten about it. If they haven’t done it there and then, most likely, they’ve forgotten about it or they’ve Change their mind or they’re just not as interested as you thought they were? So now that you understand how that works, here are the pros and the cons of it. Right? So the pros is obviously going to be the opposite of single opt in for the most part. So you get better quality leads. This is one thing that I do find. Better quality leads come through as a result because people have to take that extra step, and therefore, that tells you that they’re more engaged.

Marlon McPherson00:08:35 – 00:09:23

If someone, as far as I’m concerned, can’t take a simple little step to go and confirm look for an email and confirm by just clicking the button. If can’t take that extra step. To me, that’s someone you’re probably going to have to drag to the finish line. They’re not as interested. Right? You want to have people on your list that are going to be engaged. They actually are action takers, essentially, And they’re not just high kickers that are just there being lazy and seeing what they can get. So it acts as a filter, if anything, to to weed out people that are not serious or weed out people that are likely not going to be, good fits for your business or probably end up? They’re not gonna end up buying your service or your products. Right? Most likely.

Marlon McPherson00:09:24 – 00:10:13

The next thing is that it blocks spam bots. As far as things stand, spam bots, they cannot actually go in and, Click a link. They can’t go in and get that email and click a link because of how it’s set up as far as I understand. So it actually filters out those spam bots. So it’s obviously, it goes away into the ether when they when the email gets sent out for the confirmation and no one is there to confirm it. They’re not gonna join the list. The next thing is that it’s more compliant with regulations as I’ve talked about with GDPR and any other kind of, privacy or data laws or regulations across the world? You’re much more likely to be on the safer side or the safe side by having double opt in in place. And, the is it the 4th one? Yeah.

Marlon McPherson00:10:13 – 00:11:38

The 4th thing I wanna mention in terms of the pros is that your emails will get delivered more reliably. I mentioned before that, if your email reputation dips because people are marking you as spam or because, You’re sending emails to fake email addresses like somebody make a mistake on an email address. That’s another, downside to single opt in. You could genuinely have somebody have a typo in their email, and they don’t get, they don’t get a confirmation email to say, to confirm one way or the other? So now you have a bad email address on your list if you have a single opt in. Whereas with this, If someone has a typo, they wouldn’t get the email to confirm, so they’ll most most likely go back and fill out the form again if they’re that serious if they’re serious enough. And hopefully, they would have double checked their email address at that second, attempt to make sure that it goes through. And hopefully, they would have gotten that confirmation email to then go and click the the link. So, if you’re Delivering emails to more inboxes that people are opening, and there’s a level of in, interaction there where people are clicking the link to Come back to, well, you you know, if they click a link within your email, the systems that send out emails actually sees this? The spam filters see this and they realize, you know what? There’s an engagement here.

Marlon McPherson00:11:38 – 00:12:37

If you click on your links, that means they wanna hear from you, and there’s a conversation most likely happening. And then much more much more likely to send your future emails to the inbox as opposed to the spam, folder or the spam category inside your email, tool or like Gmail, for example. Now the cons, obviously, you You have more steps for your subscribers to go through. So, again, I’ve said this could be actually a pro. But if you’re looking to reduce friction, this is not the way to do it. In fact, there’s a system that I’m gonna talk about. There’s a workaround where we could actually have single opt in in place, but we Do a virtual or a fake double opt in or a simulated double opt in more like? This is something that I’ve learned about and I’ve been testing, inside my email marketing system? But I’ll tell you about that in another tool in another, in another episode, on another occasion. Today is about just comparing the 2.

Marlon McPherson00:12:37 – 00:13:31

So, it’s a slower way to build your list. If you’re looking to get more people on your list faster, double opt in is going to obviously reduce the numbers And the frequency at which people join your list because there’ll be a drop off with people not actually going in and clicking the link. Yeah. So, of course, you don’t need a big list, despite what you might think, you don’t need a big list to actually generate great revenue from it. You just need the right people on your list, and that is why Having a filter in place naturally with double opt in is going to actually help you do better at that. There are people with Thousands or hundreds of thousands of people on their email list, but they’re not engaged. And people with smaller lists are Doing much better in terms of revenue than these people with larger lists because the smaller list is more engaged. They they have the right people, they are looking for that thing that you’re helping with.

Marlon McPherson00:13:31 – 00:14:09

And as a result, they’re much more likely to buy what you have to offer rather than having a bunch of people that are Just coming in randomly and too easily and, you know, they’re not really taking action. That’s not what you want with your list. And in fact, it’s gonna cost you money. The bigger your list, the more it cost you to store the list in the software. Normally, with soft with email marketing software, you have to pay based on list list size. And also when you send out emails, if you have to send out an email, broadcast to all these people, it costs you a lot more money as well. So That’s my take on it. I think if you haven’t worked out by now that you should have double opt in in place.

Marlon McPherson00:14:09 – 00:14:52


And in a future episode or in some kind of other content, I’m gonna talk about the simulated later double opt in? In which case, you would have single opt in switched on, but you can actually get the benefit of double opt in as well. But You leave the friction behind because you don’t actually have the the normal way that double opt in is done, switched on coming up in another episode. Now if you wanna learn more about this, type of content, just check out one of my other episodes. I’ll link it in the description. Or if you’re watching The video version of this, I’ll, leave a link on screen to one of my other videos, and you can go and check those out. Thank you for listening and hanging out with me or for watching, And I will catch you in the next one. Take care.

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