Should You Use Single Or Double Opt In?

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single vs double opt in

As a coach you probably want to grow your email list. But you also don’t want a list full of spammers, or people that give fake email addresses. One thing that affects both list growth and the quality of your email list is whether you use a single or a double opt in.

Disclaimer: I’m not a legal expert so this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. Please check the requirements for email marketing in your country before deciding what to do.

What is single opt in?

Single opt in is where the subscriber is automatically confirmed and added to your email list when they have filled out your email form.  Once they provide their email address (and any other information you request), they are added to your email list and provided with the free offer they subscribed to. 

What is double opt in?

With double opt in the subscriber receives a confirmation email that they need to click on before they are confirmed as a subscriber. If they don’t they are not considered subscribed. The offer is usually not provided until they click on the link in the email. 

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Advantages and disadvantages of single opt in

The advantages of using a single opt in include a faster list growth, making it simpler for your subscribers and avoiding people missing the confirmation email. Say someone sees your free offer and signs up, then gets distracted and doesn’t see the confirmation email. If they don’t click on the confirmation link, you can’t send them more emails. 

Single opt in also offers advantages for things like challenges  and webinars where there is no download to receive. 

The disadvantages are that subscribers might be less engaged, they can use the wrong email address, and you can end up with a list full of spam email addresses. There is no way to know that the email address provided is correct until you do a list cleanup later on. People who aren’t willing to click on a confirmation link, are less likely to click on links or open other emails that you send.

Advantages and disadvantages of double opt in

The advantages of double opt in are lower bounce rate, lower spam complaints and a more engaged list. People who’ve taken the time to click on the confirmation link will be more likely to click on other links you send. 

The disadvantages of a double opt in are losing people that want to be on your list, but forgot to confirm, it’s harder to set up and it will likely take longer to grow your list.

What should you choose?

Which way you do your email opt in depends on a few different things. Most countries have anti spam law that requires you have consent to send emails. But double opt in is generally not required or considered sufficient for consent. 

If you are using a platform that automatically directs the subscriber to the course, download or challenge page the subscriber will have access even if they don’t confirm their email address. So make sure that you match up the wording so it’s not confusing, whatever you decide to do.

Another case where you might not want to use double opt in is when your thank you page contains a tripwire or one time offer product. The confirmation email might distract the subscriber from the offer or the offer might distract them from confirming their email address.

Summary

There are pros and cons to both single and double opt in. My advice is to consider the situation and pick one. If you find it’s not working you can always change it later, or set it depending on the type of email subscription.