Single Vs. Double Opt In

Jun 12 2017

“Double opt in is the only way to go!”

“Single opt in is without a doubt the most efficient method.”

Every email marketer has an opinion on which opt in process is better; but which method is actually better? What will lead to a higher ROI for your email campaigns and media buying budget? First we must understand what ‘Single Opt In’ and ‘Double Opt In’ mean.

What is a Single Opt In Email Sign-Up?

When you hear the term “single opt-in” it means that as soon as the person signs up through your web form, they are subscribed to your email database. With single opt-in there is no follow-up email sent to confirm the user.

What is a Double Opt In Email Sign-Up?

Double opt-in is a little different. A user will fill out their information much like the single opt-in method. But as soon as they hit the submit button, an email will be sent to confirm their subscription. This method assures that the users filling out your forms are genuinely interested in what you are sending them. Not someone typing a random email into the form.

Single Opt In Advantages:

– Single opt in grows list faster because a one-step sign up process leads to higher subscription rates.

-It is easier for the subscriber. They do not have to worry about logging into their email to confirm their subscription.

-You will lose less emails as the users are automatically subscribed.

Single Opt In Disadvantages:

-Single opt in opens your subscriber list to a variety of potentially harmful emails including:
Spambot emails
Common errors and typos
Addresses that don’t belong to the subscriber

-For the reasons listed above, this can diminish your list quality and hurt your overall email IP reputation. That means less of your emails will make it to the inbox.

-Single opt ins tend to result in a higher amount of spam complaints

Double Opt In Advantages:

-Sending out a double opt in email assures that the users are filling out their information correctly, decreasing the amount of hard bounces on your list.

-They also increase future engagement by forcing users to take action on your initial email. Positive response like this boosts your sender reputation, improving delivery rates.

-Double opt ins lead to fewer emails that bounce thus increasing your sender score.

-If spam complaints are recorded, you have a record of everyone’s opt-in confirmation.

-Double opt ins are cheaper for those using a third party mailer since your list is smaller.

Double Opt In Disadvantages:

-Potential subscribers who genuinely want your newsletter may not understand the confirmation process and fail to click the link.

-Typically, up to 20% of initial subscribers will not complete the final confirmation step. Reasons include: people forgetting they subscribed and confirmation emails being deleted accidentally, or getting stuck in spam filters.

The truth is that there are advantages and disadvantages of both methods. You can easily look at the double opt in process and think “No way am I going to miss out on 20% of the leads coming into our site. I’m going to assure every lead that comes in will be on my list so I will only do a single opt-in.” and it will make perfect sense. That does not take into account that many of those emails could bounce, that it could be person typing in someone else’s address or a spam bot- which would decrease your overall deliverability and your IP reputation thus decrease your overall ROI.

Another thing to think about is what kind of emailer you are. If you are an advertiser who sells Ad space in your newsletter by number of subscribers you mail to, single opt-in would be the winner for you since your overall list would be larger.

Now if you are a commercial sender and your emails are for your won profits, then deliverability of your emails means a lot more to you. If your emails are not making it to your lists inbox here your ROI will diminish quickly, so a double opt-in would be your best method.

Conclusion

The war will wage on between which method is better. To pick one method and reign it supreme would be hard, since it varies on what type of business that you run. In the end, it will have to be something you test out for yourself to see what works best for your company’s bottom line.

A Solution:

So as you look at the pro’s and con’s of them both, you can quickly see that one process(single opt in) allows you to gain more subscribers to your list and the other process(double opt in) helps increase the amount of emails that actually make it to the inbox.

A good solution for this is to run the single opt-in method so you can intake as many subscribers as possible but have an email verification tool on your web form to assure that the address is valid so it will not bounce when you go to mail to it. This helps to ensure that you are not losing on leads and will increase your overall IP reputation.
Not only will this allow you to mail to all of the subscriber’s filling out your form, but it will make it so your messages actually make it to the inbox.

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