When building an email list using a squeeze page or other type of opt-in form, two opt-in methods are used. The two methods are known as the single opt-in and the double opt-in.
Single opt-in is when a person only needs to enter his email address in a subscription form and click the submit button. He is then automatically added to the email subscriber list.
Double opt-in is when a person has to take two steps to subscribe to an email list. The first step is the same as the single opt-in. He enters his email address in a subscription form and clicks the submit button. A confirmation email is then sent to the prospective subscriber that contains a confirmation link. The person needs to click this confirmation link before they are added to the email list.
But the question is, what method is better? Single opt-in or double opt-in?
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of both opt-in methods.
Single opt-in is easier for subscribers to join your email list. They don’t have to go hunting down the confirmation email.
Since many subscribers don’t confirm their subscription when the double opt-in process is used, your list will build faster. All subscribers submitting the join form are added to your list, not just some of them.
Since a single opt-in email list is usually larger, you have more chances of making a sale when you broadcast an email out to your list.
Your list will have a higher chance of containing some fake email accounts since the email is not confirmed using single opt-in. Make sure you have a clear unsubscribe link in all your emails that is easy for the unwilling subscriber to opt-out.
Some email marketers claim that you get a higher quality list of subscribers with double opt-in, but really all you get is less subscribers that may buy from you down the road. Personally I have not really seen this.
Single opt-in can produce a higher unsubscribe rate. This is because your list is naturally larger and also contains subscribers that were just mildly interested in joining your list.
Using double opt-in can possibly give you a better quality list. The reason is that all the subscribers did in fact take the time to confirm their email. Your list will be smaller with less people to market to, but will contain people that really wanted to subscribe to your list. The subscribers are more likely interested in being on your list and not just on it out of curiosity.
By using the double opt-in process you will eliminate fake emails from getting on your list.
If you have a need to make sure a list only contains 100% valid emails, then double opt-in is an advantage. For example, you are having people use their email as a login to a membership site. Or your list contains a list of people that have purchased a product that need to know about updates.
You usually have less unsubscribers using double opt-in. The people that joined your list usually had a higher interest in getting on it. Now this is only true if you don’t beat your list to death.
Double opt-in is more difficult for the subscriber wanting to join your email list. They must also hunt down the confirmation email, open it and click the confirmation link. Many confirmation emails end up in the spam folder. A large percentage of potential subscribers never complete the subscription process by clicking the confirmation link.
You will lose a lot of potential subscribers when using double opt-in. The reason for this is because a large number of potential subscribers will not confirm their email address.
Since many potential subscribers never confirm their email address, your list will build much slower using double opt-in.
We have explored single opt-in advantages and disadvantages. We have also explored some of the advantages and disadvantages of double opt-in. As you can see, both methods have advantages over the other.
The final choice over using single opt-in or double opt-in is yours. You need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both methods to determine which one to use when building an email list. Use the method that best supports the purpose of your list.
If you are building multiple lists, you may find yourself using different methods with each list.
Neither single opt-in or double opt-in are the best. The best method is determined by your intended use.