Why do I have to have email subscribers confirm that they REALLY want something from me?


Why do your emails subscribers have to confirm their membership before they receive your emails?

Great question! And one that many folks struggle with. When you setup an email subscription or optin form on your website, generally speaking, there are two options to consider:

(1) Single Opt-in, and (2) Double Opt-in

  • Single Opt-in offers the ability for people to subscribe directly from your site. With this option, once users provide their information they automatically get added to your list (maybe receive your free download immediately) and receive your emails — no further action is required.
  • Double Opt-in adds an extra step. With this option, when someone subscribes to your email list, they’re sent an email requesting that they confirm their subscription before they actually get added.

So if you’re wondering why your users have to go through an extra step, you’re likely set up with the double opt-in option. However, before you change your mind about this feature, consider the benefits and disadvantages that each option has.

Single opt-in is a one-stop shop solution, offering your subscribers the simplest possible way to subscribe to your emails. It’s also the option that looks like it builds your email list the fastest since it’s the simplest way for people to sign up.

So, why doesn’t everyone use single opt-in?

Although single opt-in is the “easiest” option, no one likes getting spammed! Especially you, right? Unfortunately, it’s a little too easy for people to sign up with single opt-in. It’s so easy that it offers open doors for spam-bots and spammers.

Single-opt-in makes it difficult to offer incentives to sign up for your list, because if you offer any type of rewards or encouragement for people to sign up, plenty of people who will enter a fake email address to access to the free information you’re giving away. With single opt-in, not only do you send out emails to non-existent mailboxes, but you also have emails that are just wasting space on your list (and possibly making you pay more for no reason.)

This is a win-win for spammers — they get your information for free and, in turn, don’t have sign up for your list, which they likely never had any interest in, anyway. But this is a major nuisance for you, as you’ve worked so hard to provide quality information just for it to get ripped off.

This con really outweighs the pros for this option. Although this option is the fastest and “easiest”, it’s also easily susceptible to spam, and no one likes getting spammed.

What you really want is to send your emails out to people who value the information and who will ultimately (hopefully) become your clients. That’s what marketing is all about.

Why Double Opt-in is More Effective and Safe

After taking a brief look at single opt-in email marketing, you’re probably already reconsidering your original objection. But let’s take a closer look at why it’s the better option.

Why It’s Safer

Most email services require that you use double opt-in because it ensures that no one can just come along, insert a random email address and subscribe to your list. This option tremendously cuts down the amount of spam complaints that email service providers receive. They also tend to require this extra step because they want to deliver emails with higher reliability to all ISPs.

How It’s More Effective

  • Double opt-in lists have a significantly higher open rate (emails opened) compared to single opt-in lists.
  • Double opt-in emails have a lower bounce rate than single opt-in emails.

In just about every marketing aspect that really matters for your practice, double opt-in email lists perform exceedingly better than its easier counterpart. The bounce rate and opening rate seem to be the most alarming regarding differences in performance.

Plus, think about it: people who are visiting your site and sign up for your email list are already on a computer or mobile device, meaning their email is just a few clicks away, meaning they’ll likely accept your request immediately.

If they go to their email and confirm their subscription, the chances of them actually being interested in your content is high. So, double opt-in better ensures that you gain valuable subscribers.

And if they decide to deny the subscription request, you may be losing a subscriber, but you’re more likely just missing out on unwanted spam. So, you come out winning in the end — building lists with high potential, quality clients that are interested in your services in the first place.

After weighing the pros and cons of both, we highly recommend you stick with double opt-in on your website (which, easy for you, is typically required by most email marketing providers, anyways).

Have questions or need assistance implementing a double opt-in autoresponder on your website? We encourage you to contact us today.

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