Email Marketing: Single Optin vs Double Optin

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Email Marketing: Single Optin vs Double Optin

Email Marketers are constantly debating the worth of single optin vs double optin when it comes to building their lists.

Single optin simply means that someone can enter any information in to a capture form and they are automatically subscribed and/or given access to the free ebook, software, etc… that is being offered.

Double optin means that once the form is submitted, the person will receive an email asking them to confirm their request. Typically, the confirmation is accomplished by having the subscriber click a uniquely coded link.

The most common argument for using the single optin method is that some email marketing practitioners believe it helps build a larger list.

The claim is that people are unlikely to take that extra step to click a confirmation link so you could end up losing out on potential prospects.

The most common argument for using the double optin method for email marketing is that email marketers want to know that the prospects they are generating are:

  1. Real humans that read their emails.
  2. Genuinely interested in receiving the information being offered.

Someone using the single optin method may think that they have 5,000 prospects in their database but may actually have somewhere around 3,000 because 2,000 are nothing more than junk emails, spam traps, or bots.

While 3,000 prospects is nothing to take lightly, consider that if 2,000 of those addresses are not valid, that means the ebook, software, download, etc… that was being offered has essentally been stolen if you did not ask those prospects to confirm before receiving your offer.

Another big issue to consider is deliverability.

If your list is cluttered with unknown or garbage email addresses, this can have a negative impact on your overall deliverability. Many email service providers will begin blocking domains that are known to repeatedly send to email addresses that don’t exist. Over time, this can result in your messages not being delivered to the real prospects that you do have. What good are those real prospects if your message can’t be delivered to them?

Some proponents of single optin hold the position that it doesn’t matter since email marketing is so inexpensive. “Why should we care if some of the email addresses in our list don’t really exist? Email marketing is so cheap anyway.”

This is a flawed perspective. Those bad email addresses could be costing you more than you realize.

Not only is your deliverability affected, meaning that your message may not be getting through to even the good email addresses, but you may be overpaying your autoresponder service provider.

AutoResponder companies like Aweber, GetResponse, Constant Contact, iContact, etc… charge on a sliding scale meaning the larger your list, the more you will pay each month.

When their system looks at your account, they see the total number of prospects. So if you have 5,000 records but only 3,000 are actually deliverable, you are paying too much.

The idea behind using technology like autoresponders and email marketing should be to help your business increase sales while reducing expenses. Using single optin to build your email marketing lists could cost you not only in efficiency but also in your pocketbook.

9 thoughts on “Email Marketing: Single Optin vs Double Optin

  1. These are really great points Brian! When I really thought about it, I know without any doubt that the subscribers I have in my campaigns are indeed interested in getting my emails because they confirmed by first getting the confirmation. That is really important, but they continue to keep getting my emails because the TrafficWave system is really built to do just that.

    Humans do make mistakes and I cringe at the thought of people who inadvertently, or even consciously, enter their email address incorrectly. Certainly both cases are ones online marketers want to avoid and with double opt-in, both issues are resolved.

    TrafficWave continues to impress me nearly seven years since I joined, because it is common these days for some companies to not have a vision that they really follow. They instead do things because “others are doing them too.”

    Thanks for being a true leader and standing firm on solid principles of business, treating others as you yourself would want to be treated. The Golden Rule is the only way to go!

  2. Hello Admin. I am Ayobami from Lagos, Nigeria. First, I’ll like to say a hearty cheers to you for sharing this article. I invariably believed single opt-in was okay.
    Second, I am finding it elusive to creating a campaign with Though I am using the trial version which will expire momentarily. So, I would be singularly happy you could show me how to do that. CHEERS!

    1. While there are other autoresponder services that allow single opt-in, I know many professional marketers who use double opt-in because it guarantees your subscriber 1) wants your content emailed and 2) entered their subscriber email correctly.

      You can have single opt-in but that won’t ensure your subscriber 1) wants your content emailed and 2) entered their subscriber email correctly, and when you really think about it, nothing else matters.

      For myself I am glad to know that 100% of my subscribers 1) want my information and 2) they did not make a mistake entering their email address.

      So don’t worry that TrafficWave does not offer single opt-in. It’s a blessing!

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