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Double Opt-in vs Single Opt-in Email Contacts

Learn more about how double opt-in and single opt-in works, what is the biggest difference between them and how to use them right.

Any subscriber you’ve added to your list must give you permission to email them, when you use a double opt-in version, this two-step process offers you a complete confirmation that your contact has agreed to receive mail from you. Below you will find what are the main differences between double opt-in vs single opt-in options.

How does double opt-in work

Single opt-in contacts: This means that you have a sign-up form on your website or blog and the contact can fill out the form, hit “subscribe” and they automatically become part of your mailing list.

Double opt-in contacts: This means that you’ve basically asked your subscriber twice whether or not they want to become part of your mailing list. Usually, this takes the form of a contact filling out a sign-up form which includes their email address – then an email confirmation is sent to that address where the contact then opens and confirms that they have agreed to receive mail from you. Here is a couple of obvious benefits to this process.

a) With double opt-in, you can confirm that the address is real and that there are no typos or bots using your sign up form.

b) You have a solid record that your subscribers have consented to your mail

c) You will have better campaign results with fewer bounces and higher engagement.

Often the first thing marketers ask in regards to double opt-in versus single opt-in is – “Why would I want to make it harder for someone to subscribe to my list?”.

We understand that it’s tempting to cut corners sometimes and that you want to grow your list as fast and easily as possible. You may ask, am I really going to see better results using double opt-in? Yes! You may build your list faster using single opt-in, but you’ll pay the price in a near equal number increase in bounced emails and unsubscribes because of bad sign-ups and spambots. Here is why you should be making sure your list is comprised of double opt-in email subscribers.

1. Get more opens and clicks with double opt-in

Statistics show that confirmed lists really do mean that your contacts are more interested in your mail and you will see more unique opens. Furthermore, because your subscribers are expecting your mail they are more likely to click on links.

2. Fewer unsubscribes and bounces 

Arguments for single opt-in always include a mention of growing your list faster – that may be true, but there are at least two problems that you’ll encounter. One is that single opt-in lists mean sign-ups can more easily be bogus email addresses or even spam bots which mean more bounces for you. Secondly, single opt-in lists have higher rates of unsubscribing. So, the opposite being of course that your double opt-in list may take more time to grow, but you’ll have fewer bounces and fewer unsubscribes.

3. Better email reputation 

As you know, one of the fastest ways to get booted from your ESP is to send too many invalid addresses or receive too many complaints from people receiving your unsolicited mail. Save yourself the trouble and use confirmed addresses. If you’re not using confirmed addresses now, you can change that by sending a Confirmation of Consent campaign using your Elastic Email dashboard and make sure your list is quality. Really, all you’ve got to do is make a simple template that asks your contacts whether they still want your mail.

4. Experienced, long term, successful marketers use confirmed opt-in

Want to play with the really successful email marketersProfessional, prosperous email marketers use double opt-in. If you want to be taken seriously, have a strong brand or following, have long-term staying power, and growth potential, then you’re going to confirm your contacts.