Single Opt-in Versus Double Opt-in EmailEvery marketer dreams of having a large, responsive list to mail to, but lists are built one contact at a time and although it is generally accepted that double opt-in is the way to go some marketers argue that single op-in is the better choice. This can make things rather confusing, especially for newbie internet marketers contemplating building their first list.

Single Opt-in and Double Opt-in Email sign-ups—what’s the Difference?

In email marketing the term ‘opt-in’ refers to the method used to allow people to add their names to the list.

The single opt-in option makes it very easy for them to do so. It’s just a case of adding their name and email address to the opt-in sign up form and hitting send.

The double opt-in option adds an extra step to the process because after new sign-ups have sent their details they receive an automated email asking them to confirm they wish to join the list by clicking a link in the email. This extra step prevents other people (sometimes maliciously) attempting to add someone’s name to the list, and helps ensure new subscribers are more likely to have a genuine interest in receiving future mailings. It also protects  from allegations of spamming, but some marketers fear the extra step can result in lost sign-ups and hinder the list building process.

Which is the Better Way to Go?

There are valid arguments for and against each method, but double opt-in email lists tend to be more responsive than their quicker and easier counterparts and although a few sign-ups may be lost due to the process the lost sign-up are more likely to be of the tire-kicker variety so they are unlikely to be missed. Bearing in mind the business-busting repercussions of spam allegations though, the extra protection provided by the double opt-in process is easily one of its biggest selling points.

We’ll delve a litter further into the pros and cons of each option in the next article.