Single opt-in email sign-ups quickly fell out of favor when the double opt-in option became available and with good reason. The double opt-in option is superior in many ways, but a few internet marketers still prefer the old method and even declare it to be the better option. Although marketers who share this opinion are in the minority some valid arguments can be made for single opt-in email lists, but comparing the two options side by side can provide a better insight into why double opt-in remains the most popular choice.
Arguments for Single Opt-in
Arguments for Double Opt-in
|Easy opt-in: New subscribers can begin receiving emails straight away without any need to visit their email account, locate the activation email (possibly in the spam folder), and click the link.||Protects against allegations of spamming: The email address owner will not receive any mailings unless they click the link in the activation email. So misguided friends cannot add someone’s name to the list and if the subscriber forgets they subscribed the marketer can prove they did.|
|Quickest way to build a list: Many new subscribers fail to click the activation links required by the double opt-in process (leading to lost subscribers). Since single opt-in requires no such action subscription is instant and the list grows much faster.||Builds a better quality list: Anyone who has a genuine interest in the subject will be keen to locate the email and take action so although lists may be slower growing they are more responsive than single opt-in lists|
|Easy to move the list: If a list owner moves their list to another [double opt-in] autoresponder service the entire list will need to confirm their wish to continue receiving mailings by opting in again; so a move may result in a loss of subscribers. Single opt-in list can be transferred easily without any such risks.||Moving the List may remove the dead wood: Should a move become necessary the need to repeat the opt-in process can further refine the quality of the list by filtering out inactive email addresses and subscribers who have lost interest.|
Size is often thought to be important, so any points made about refining list quality may seem a little pointless, but autoresponder services charge in tiers and up their prices for handling larger lists. A bigger—more costly list—that produces poor sales is waste of time, money and resources. A smaller, more responsive list that produces a decent amount of sales is a much better investment and by the time the list grows large enough to incur extra fees the money involved should be a drop in the ocean compared to the revenues received.
In the end the type of opt-in method used is a matter of personal choice, but hopefully the points raised in this article will assist novice list builders in making an informed choice that is the right choice for their online business.
Declan Clancy is an enthusiastic, results oriented and creative Digital Marketer with 9 years hands on experience across digital channels.
In his last role as Group Digital Marketing Manager for Trigon Hotels, Declan was responsible for the ecommerce strategy and implementation for their 3 hotels. While at Trigon Hotels, Declan won Best use of Twitter for a Large Business at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards for his work for Cork International Hotel.