Single Opt-In vs. Double Opt In Email Marketing: What Route Should Your Brand Take?

email marketing

When establishing an email marketing strategy, there’s always one hurdle that every brand has to overcome: single or double opt-in? It’s a debate that’s been going on since the two were established. If you’re new to the digital or email marketing world, though, it can seem confusing and overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know before choosing.

What are they?

Single opt-in

A customer signs up to be part of an email list. The brand then sends a confirmation email to the customer, letting them know their signup was successful and that they will begin receiving emails immediately.

Double opt-in

A customer signs up for an email list. The brand then sends a confirmation email to the customer to verify that they actually signed up for the list. That customer is then required to take action to confirm their address and subscription, usually by clicking a link within the body of the confirmation email. Once that step is taken, the recipient will begin receiving emails regularly.

What advantages/disadvantages does each have?

With single opt-in there’s no additional step for the subscriber to take. They’ve done their part, now they’re expecting the brand to do its part in providing them with email content. Because there’s no second step of validation, though, there’s the chance that a bad email could’ve been used. Bounces can result in a bad reputation for your domain/IP address.

With double opt-in, that process is interrupted, even if it’s only momentarily, and the possibility exists that the subscriber will not complete the prompt and won’t be added to the list — resulting in no conversion. But, because the second step of validation is required, those who take that second step are considered stronger leads, more interested in the brand or the content being offered, and there’s less chance of marking the emails as spam.

What should you choose?

We asked Email Marketer Andre Armenni for his take. Here’s what he had to say:

Single opt-in works best for small retailers that are desperate to increase their base, while double opt-in serves you when you already have a good amount of interactive leads, and don’t want to have anymore headaches with bad email addresses.

What do you think? Do you have a preference for one? Do you disagree with Armenni’s assessment? Share your thoughts and recommendations with us in the comments below! And find more email marketing best practices in our how-to guides.