Now that you’ve started to build your email list, you’ve probably reached a fork in the road: use single opt-in or double opt-in.

You’re not alone because there is an ongoing debate as to which method is superior. For many, single opt-in is the best because it’s a more streamlined option. However, double opt-in proponents prefer this method because it has higher engagement from subscribers.

So what is single opt-in and double opt-in? When do you use one and not the other?

Let’s find out.

What Is Single Opt-in?

Single opt-in (SOI) happens when a user’s email address is added to your list without a second step – a.k.a. email confirmation. This is usually the standard opt-in procedures for many email newsletters and subscriptions.

It’s straightforward and does the job quickly.

What Is Double Opt-in?

Double Opt-in (DOI) is also called Confirmed Opt-in (COI. It requires and extra step – confirmation via email.

For example, after a customer signs up for your new product or service and opts for more communication, they need to login the email they use and click on the confirmation link to verify their opt-in.

The process is completed only after the confirmation link has been clicked.

Why Use Single Opt-in?

For many users, single opt-in is better because it makes the sign-up process faster and easier. In most cases, users are just required to submit their emails which mean there is less friction in this process.

Single opt-in is an easier way to get your message across to a larger audience.

Why Use Double Opt-in?

Since double opt-in requires an additional step, users of this method run the risk of increasing the chance of potential subscribers dropping off. Studies by Litmus show that double opt-in has a 20 to 40% failure rate. For email marketers who are looking to grow their subscriber list, this risk can be concerning.

Single opt-in might produce a bigger email list but double opt-in can produce better engagement. Since subscribers are willing to go an additional step, it means that they will be responsive in the long term. They will be the ones who will open your newsletters and click the links which in turn boosts delivery reputation and deliverability rates.

Most importantly, double opt-in protects your email list from bots and malicious sign ups.

When To Use SOI and DOI?


If you can’t decide which method to use, ask yourself:

  • What are your marketing goals?
  • What kind of list do you want to build?

If you want to cast your net on a wider audience and feel that you can afford to lose short term leads, single opt-in is a good choice for you.

However, if you’re dealing with a high bounce rate or spam complaints or low engagement rates; you might want to try double opt-in.

Another thing to remember when building an email list is to focus on making email experiences that are helpful and human. Opt-ins are useless if you try to strong arm users into subscribing or if you provide irrelevant content.

A strong email marketing strategy can help you gain an edge against your competitors. A good email marketing strategy  can help drive traffic, boost conversions and get you more results.

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