Double opt-in or single opt-in?

double_or_single_opt-inWhen building your own email list, you have to decide if you are going to use a double opt-in process or if you use a single opt-in procedure.

In this article I’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure to help you make a good decision.


What is double opt-in?

When using the double opt-in process, people who sign up to your email list have to confirm their email address before they start to receive your follow up or broadcast emails. This is used to ensure that they have used their real email address and not somebody else’s.

The double opt-in process works like this:  A person enters their name and email address into your autoresponder form. After they hit the submit button, they will be taken to a webpage that asks them to confirm their email address. Your autoresponder automatically sends out a confirmation email when somebody signs up to your email list. In this confirmation email there is a confirmation link that a subscriber needs to click to become active on your email list.

What is single opt-in?

When using a single opt-in process, people become instantly active right after they entered their name and email address into your autoresponder form and hit the submit button. They don’t need to confirm their email address, they instantly start to receive your messages.

The single opt-in process seems to be the preferred method nowadays. People argue that they get more active subscribers on their list when using a single opt-in process rather than a double opt-in process. Another argument is that more people see their One Time Offer because it will be displayed instantly after a single opt-in. When using a double opt-in process, people usually see the One Time Offer after they have confirmed their email address.

Unfortunately there are also several disadvantages when using the single opt-in process. First of all, people might enter a fake email address, so that your autoresponder emails either go into the nirvana or they go to an email address that belongs to somebody else, somebody who didn’t request to receive emails from you. This can and will trigger spam complaints. Another disadvantage is, that if your emails go into the spam folder of a person who has requested and wants your emails, then your emails can be easier found when using the double opt-in process. This is because people will go and look for that email instantly after they have opted in to your email list. When using the single opt-in procedure, people might not even notice that these “spam” emails are actually no spam but your emails that they requested to receive. People might simply forget that they signed up to your list.

What is better, single opt-in or double opt-in?

I don’t think it’s possible to generally say that one of the both procedures is the better one. It depends on your goals (do you want to build a list as large as possible or a list that is as responsive as possible?), your strategy (do you want a maximum in OTO sales?) and other factors.

Personally I prefer the double opt-in method over the single opt-in. I mean, how hard is it for someone to go into their email account and click the confirmation link? You also get them instantly “trained” to open your emails and click your links when using the double opt-in procedure. Next to that you can weed out several bad advertising sources when using double opt-in. For example, I’ve seen a 40% opt-in rate from solo emails that I bought from several solo email sellers, but only 10% of them confirmed their email address. This tells me, that either the solo email sellers have entered fake email addresses or that the people who signed up entered fake email addresses.

So, I recommend using the double opt-in process. You will always be on the save side when you get spam complaints and you get people to instantly look for you email, so that they identify the email as yours and get used to open and click your emails.

If you are not doing email marketing at all, then you must start to do this. See, all successful internet marketers use email marketing, they all build up their own email lists. Check out Pureleverage, you get a professional autoresponder to build up your own email list and several other internet marketing tools.

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know if you use the single or double opt-in process and why you use it.

To your success,

Guido Nussbaum