Home » Single Opt-in vs. Double Opt-in: when to use and how to set them?
double opt-in vs single opt-in

Single Opt-in vs. Double Opt-in: when to use and how to set them?

There are a lot of debates concerning the single or double opt-in method for registration forms. What is, in fact, the best subscription option for businesses? What option is going to ensure higher Engagement Rates?

Actually, it’s always up to you to decide. You know everything about the actual necessities of your company, and what needs to be done to optimize the registration process.

In addition, different situations require specific necessities. In some of them, the single opt-in method may do the job you want. In others, you might need the more sophisticated approach of the double opt-in system.

This content will introduce you to both methods and help you form an opinion about which one is the best for you. By the end of the article, you will know how the single opt-in and double opt-in approaches work, when they are necessary, their benefits, and their applications. 

Moreover, we are going to provide examples on both sides, so you can better explore these strategies. Keep reading to find out what method better fits your company?

  • What is Single Opt-in?
  • What is Double Opt-in?
  • When to use Double Opt-in
  • What are the benefits of the Double Opt-in method?
  • How to set and optimize your Double Opt-in email lists?

What is Single Opt-in?

In the single opt-in method, the subscriber needs to fill out a registration form to be a part of your community. As soon as people finish giving their basic information, they are already a part of your subscriber lists.

In other words, people don’t need to confirm their registration twice. There is no follow-up step to be taken. It’s simple and fast.

This is the preferred method for e-commerce companies, once they need to acquire as many contacts as possible in a short period of time, so they can get more leads, achieve more conversions, and have more sales.

The single opt-in approach also works best on mobile devices because there is no change of screens. It provides a more successful first content to newcomers. So, if your traffic mostly originated from mobile accesses, keep the single opt-in method in mind.  

What is Double Opt-in?

The Double Opt-in process is very similar to the previous one. First, the individuals need to fill out a registration form. After that, we have a second step, which consists of the newcomers opening their mailboxes to confirm the initial registration.

This way, contacts are validated before they are added to your main lists. If you want to build an email list free of invalid addresses, the double opt-in registration is a perfect choice.

Many companies have to deal with fake or incorrect email addresses and you must avoid them because they cause bounces. Remember that a great number of bounces can trigger spam filters, hurting both your overall deliverability and online reputation.

Another important feature of the double opt-in method is that subscribers not only prove the validity of their email addresses but they confirm their interest in your content. 

They take this additional step just to make sure your emails will be received. This gesture precedes high Open and Engagement Rates.

As a marketer, of course, you are always interested in growing the subscriber lists, numerically speaking. However, we must remember that quality is way more relevant than quantity.

So, double opt-in email lists are essential to gather the email addresses of people who are really eager to listen to what you have to say. In marketing, under no circumstances whatsoever, interest and engagement can’t be undermined. 

When to use double opt-in?

Many factors come into play when we talk about growing subscriber lists. It all depends on the goals you have established for your company, both in the short and long term.

If you need to create as many leads as possible in the short term, single opt-in email lists may provide what you have been looking for. In this case, you will acquire some bad leads, as well as an unwanted share of fake addresses and typos.

Over time, bad leads (read “uninterested subscribers”) and fake emails (they don’t exist, you are sending messages to nobody) will start causing bounces, making spam filters doubt your reputation.

On the other hand, if you are thinking long-term, and trying to build a list of engaged subscribers, the double opt-in registration forms will ensure your database is made of captivated users.

It might take longer, but the double opt-in system will pay off the effort and time because it will protect your deliverability and online reputation. 

In addition, when your Bounce Rate is too high, you should consider adopting double opt-in email lists to reduce this percentage.

To conclude, the double opt-in lists can set you free of invalid or incorrect addresses, helping you keep your mailing lists always clean

What are the benefits of double opt-in?

It’s possible to get many advantages when you decide to make your subscription process through the double opt-in method.

Keep reading to know how you can benefit from the double opt-in approach.

Get a qualified email list

The double opt-in forms are more likely to attract engaged users to your channels. Confirming their registration through email is an additional step that only interested visitors are willing to take.

This is the ideal scenario to get a qualified email list. You will be finally free of invalid addresses, typos, or visitors who use email addresses that don’t belong to them.

You might lose a lead or two by asking for an email confirmation, but these people weren’t interested in your company in the first place. After all, they gave up on the first request you made. They wouldn’t take any action anyways.

In addition, a qualified email list will ensure solid engagement levels. We don’t need to tell you that engagement is good for business. Counting on interested users will make your marketing campaigns successful.    

Therefore, in order to build a strong email list, the double opt-in method is everything you need.

Compliance with GDPR and LGPD

The legislation that regularizes commercial emails is very strict and severe. It must be respected.

Moreover, being compliant in relation to the GDPR (in Europe) and LGPD (in Brazil) is a sign that you are a responsible email sender and that you care about the safety and privacy of your subscribers.

Using the double opt-in process is an excellent way to get your audience’s consent, making your company legally allowed to send commercial emails to these people.

This extra layer of protection is not required by GDPR and LGPD but this measure will surely be positively seen by regulators, spam filters, and also your target audience.

Remember that you can’t send any type of email without the recipient’s permission. Make sure to get consent every time a new contact is added to your database. 

The double opt-in system can be very helpful in this mission, helping you show compliance with GDPR and LGPD.

Improve your deliverability

If you are struggling to get acceptable email deliverability, you should consider implementing a double opt-in email list.

The main feature of double opt-in email lists is to prevent invalid email addresses from reaching your database, hence protecting your deliverability.

This happens because invalid email accounts make your email bounce. By avoiding them, you are also fixing the issue related to hard bounces.

The double opt-in system is ideal when you want to attract engaged and interested subscribers, making your email marketing campaigns more responsive.

In case you don’t know, having high Engagement Rates helps you become a more respected email sender, which means you will have an excellent online email reputation regarding ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and spam filters.

Adding only interested subscribers to your channels is going to reduce the number of spam complaints, ensuring a reliable reputation and healthy deliverability.

An additional step to take when implementing the double opt-in method to build your lists is to ask newcomers to add your company’s email address to their contact list. 

This way, your messages won’t be flagged as spam or dangerous content, boosting your deliverability.

How to set and optimize your double opt-in

Ignoring the benefits presented so far is a big mistake if you want to excel as an email sender.

Thus, it’s time to go from theory to practice and learn how to set and optimize your own double opt-in email lists.

You should know that implementing the double opt-in confirmation system requires sending transactional emails to your new contacts. Ensure you have this option activated on your Email Service Provider (ESP).

In your ESP platform, select the registration form that you want to use to gather email accounts. While you are still in this step, search for the tab “Settings” (or similar), marking the “Double Confirmation Email” option.

That’s it! Your lists are now double opt-in. After the configuration is all set, you just have to choose how the new users are going to confirm their registration, and for that, you basically have three options:

  • choosing a default message asking for confirmation;
  • sending an email to redirect users to an URL after they confirm their registration;
  • sending a personalized email to confirm new registrations.

No matter what choice you make, this first contact must be memorable. You must employ strong branding techniques, so users can notice your company’s name, logo, and mission.

It’s important to let everybody know what your company is all about in this first encounter. First impressions matter a lot.

This is the first email newcomers will read from you and because of that it is really important to make this new audience feel welcome.Think deeply about everything: 

  • subject line;
  • content;
  • brand;
  • the first products or services to be advertised;
  • and so on. 

We will introduce some interesting techniques to help you build a strong and ever-lasting relationship with new subscribers from the start. Keep reading! 

Incentivize email opt-ins

New visitors won’t conclude their registrations if they are not incentivized. Give them excellent reasons to complete this initial procedure.

Think of offering special discounts, coupons, or even a small gift, such as a free sample of your products or a free trial.

This way, they will be encouraged to confirm their registration, and also be pushed to take their first action on your platform, making them advance faster in the sales funnel. 

Incentivizing email opt-ins is something you should consider doing to make your lists grow faster. 

Work on the opt-in sign-up form

Nobody likes to spend time filling out long registration forms. That’s why you have to think about the user experience when you elaborate your sign-up forms.

First of all, choose how the opt-in sign-up is going to present itself to visitors. You usually have two main options:

  • create a Pop-up form that is going to appear while visitors navigate on your page. Be careful with the timing when you work your pop-up forms. When the time is not right, the visitors will be annoyed by pop-ups, and they will close the page, leaving you empty-handed;
  • create a brand-new registration form that is going to function as a landing page with a specific URL. The landing pages can be used when users are attracted to a specific product or service, so make sure to add more information about what attracted the visitor’s attention, such as reviews and study cases, increasing the likelihood of convincing someone to register in your channel. 

After you choose how you are going to collect people’s email addresses, think about ways to personalize your forms, presenting reasons why someone should complete the registration.

One thing you can do when you want to elaborate on effective registration forms is to look at some newsletter sign-up examples. This way, you can get some inspiration to create your questions and templates, as well as be aware of some optimization tips. 

One thing that you have to bear in mind when elaborating your opt-in forms is the questions you want to ask. 

Don’t be too invasive (minimize the use of data to be GDPR and LGPD compliant), nor too timid (after all, you do need to know your clients to send interesting emails).

Ask relevant questions that can help you approach this new customer and allow you to build segmented email lists. Email list management is going to make sure you reach an excellent engagement level in the future.

One more thing that must receive your attention when elaborating on registration forms is how people are supposed to find them online. Your company must have a strong presence to make people come across registration forms.

Using social media is a good idea to advertise the sign-up forms. If people know your company is trustworthy, they are more likely to start the registration process. You can also make the forms visible on your homepage, on the header or footer position.

Finally, include a box for users to check, aiming at getting their informed consent. It’s the only way to be legally allowed to send commercial emails to your new audience.

Create the final confirmation email

The final confirmation email is the last step on the long journey of acquiring new addresses to your subscriber lists. So, you had better pay attention to this email in particular because, if it fails, it means a lot of work went to waste.

This final message has to look professional and introduce your brand. Use the color, font, and conversational tone to strengthen your branding presence. 

Moreover, be friendly and grateful to this new contact, greeting him or her in the opening line. Don’t forget to use their names.

Think about the opening line too. Just to look at it, newcomers have to conclude they have just received a confirmation email, which will make them open the message immediately, once they might have been waiting for it.

Additionally, trying to improve the user experience, use buttons, rather than links, to confirm the addresses. Links are not visually appealing, making people doubt your legitimacy as a sender. After all, it is the first contact you make. You must cause a good impression.

It is a good idea to present your preference center in this email, so subscribers can control what messages they will receive in the future, as well as the frequency.

Give users the power to decide what they want. This will be important to prevent spam complaints and low engagement rates in the future.

Finally, ask them to whitelist your address, ensuring that your messages will be successfully delivered to this specific destination.    

Remind subscribers why they signed up

It might sound strange and silly, but subscribers need to be reminded why they signed up for your channel. These reminders can eliminate or reduce any hesitation in the confirmation step. 

That’s why there is an excess of information nowadays. It’s impossible to remember the origin of many things, including the messages you receive every day in mailboxes.

Marketers are always competing for the users’ attention. Their mailboxes, in turn, are always full. This fact justifies the necessity to help subscribers to remember your brand, and why they made the first attempt of contact.

It’s important to be direct and address what made the users subscribe in the first place. What happens if people don’t recognize you when they open their emails?

They ignore and delete your message or mark you as a spam sender (in some cases, they do all of it). This will destroy your online reputation, making the deliverability process even harder.

Reminders are important, and your subscribers will surely appreciate the gesture because they will feel like they matter to your company. It can even re-engage users, avoiding spam flags and unsubscribe requests.

Adopting the best practices to double opt-in your mail lists is an efficient way to keep your database always clean.

Having a list full of engaged and active users (with no invalid addresses or uninterested subscribers) is going to boost your email marketing campaigns, helping you achieve the most ambitious goals you have set for them.

At this point, you can say that you are an expert in double opt-in. So why don’t you learn the best practices for opt-in email lists to be an expert in it as well? Check SafetyMails’ content about the strategies to build a subscriber list.

Why is it important to implement an email verification service in your strategy?

When you build an email database, you surely want to have real people connected in your lists.

However, many people give a fake email address or an invalid one. They can simply make silly spelling mistakes during the registration process in your landing page or newsletters, for example.

SafetyMails has an expertise in prevent your whole strategy went to waste because you ended up with several addresses that are not fit to use. In other words, using our email verifier, your collected addresses are real, and can generate engagement.

In case of typos, the service can solicit corrections and reviews, making sure you don’t lose a promising lead. Everything happens in real-time and the email checker api is accurate and fast.

Would you like to know us better? Test now and check emails for free!

Choose SafetyMails and see how easy it is to make sure no invalid or harmful addresses get to your subscriber lists!