Double Opt-in: Increase Your Email Deliverability and Open Rates

Chris Arrendale

2 minute read

When it comes to email marketing, companies and organizations are faced with a choice: Should they use double opt-in or single opt-in when acquiring new email subscribers? Ultimately, email senders have to choose between list size and list quality.

What Is the Difference between Double Opt-In and Single Opt-In?

A popular form of opt-in is called the single opt-in, in which the user agrees to receive an email by simply checking a box, or leaving a pre-checked box checked, or entering their email address when they visit a website. Upon submission, the subscriber immediately begins receiving email marketing messages. With this form of opt-in, people are prone to forget they “asked” to be emailed in the first place and can mark your message as spam. This form of opt-in tends to generate more bounces, blacklisting, spam trap hits, and other nasty stuff that can adversely affect your deliverability rates.

With double opt-in, a new email subscriber signs up on your site and provides their email address. In order to receive your email messages, they must then confirm their approval by actually acknowledging your very first email to them. They are not officially subscribed until they click a link in the first confirmation email. While this extra step can result in about 20% fewer opt-ins than single opt-ins purely in terms of the number of subscribers, double opt-ins are superior for ALL other stats.

Will using double opt-in really improve the stats that matter: opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes?

If you’re planning to build long-term email marketing success, you need quality subscribers much more than you need quantity of subscribers. Therefore, confirmed emails are much more valuable than the unconfirmed emails of single opt-in. If the extra step is too much trouble for a subscriber, then they likely were not a good fit in the first place. When it comes to stats, deliverability rates for lists that use double opt-in are significantly higher, unsubscribe rates are lower and open and click through rates are higher as well.

Essentially, it boils down to this — double opt-in is a long-term strategy that has tons of long-term benefits. It generally increases deliverability rates, open rates, and click-through rates. Your email marketing results will soar when you focus on building a list of engaged email subscribers rather than merely looking for short-term success.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Arrendale

Founder of Inbox Pros (acquired by Trendline in July of 2018). Author of Deliverability Inferno. Certified expert and frequent speaker on the topics of data privacy, deliverability and compliance. BA in Poli-Sci/Soc from Emory, MS in Software Engineering & IT from Southern Polytechnic State University. A shoe and wine collection that’s the envy of pro athletes. Follow Chris on LinkedIn

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