CATEGORY: Digital marketing

What are the benefits of Single vs Double opt in?

What are the benefits of Single vs Double opt in?

Are you left feeling confused over what’s the best way to gain consent of visitors email addresses? 

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You have fabulous copy for your well designed sign up forms, but the question remains; to make it a single or a double?

You’ve heard of single and double opt-in, but what does it really mean and how will it impact your communications strategy? 

In this article we aim to answer all your queries on the different factors of single Vs double opt-in, what the benefits are of choosing either process and in what situation should you be using each opt-in. 

What is the difference between single opt in v double opt in? 

Single Opt-in

Single Opt-In is the most straight forward method for you and your subscriber and the easiest way to grow a mailing list quickly. Readers simply fill out your newsletter sign-up form, from here they will be displayed a “success” landing page and automatically added to your mailing list. 

Double Opt-in

Double Opt-in is a more thorough process of obtaining subscriber details. Double Opt-in, as the name suggests, is made up of a two-factor verification process. Once a reader has filled out your sign-up form, they will be asked to confirm their details are correct via an email sent to them.  

As Litmus states the debate over whether to use single or double opt-in often goes along the lines of; single offering short-term quantity and double providing long-term quality mailing lists.

But can it be that simple? 

Strengths of single opt- in 

• It is a super quick and simple way to sign readers up to your mailing list 

• More people will be likely to complete your Opt-in process if it is kept short and sweet , which will lead to a substantially faster growing list

Weaknesses of single opt-in

• Without a verification process you will be open to fake email addresses being used to get hold of your tasty content 

• Viewers may unintentionally sign-up with misspelt email addresses, resulting in them missing out on your desired emails 

• Due to the above, your mailing list quality will take a hit, which will, therefore, make your metrics unreliable. Low open rates and click-through’s from inactive accounts will have negative impacts on your deliverability which will in turn affect your sender reputation

Strengths of double opt-in

• The verification process will ensure that fake email addresses steer clear of polluting your mailing list

• With only a list of confirmed email addresses, your list quality will be top notch and squeaky clean from all errors and spammers. In turn, this quality data will be able to portray an accurate analysis of your campaigns success, therefore allowing you to gain true insights.  

• Double-opt in is an explicit way of confirming a subscribers consent to be contacted, in terms of opt-ins this is more easily audited and more robust option in GDPR compliance terms

• In general, as shown by Niel Patel, engagement rates tend to be higher for double opt-in subscribers, as they are positive they want your communications 

Weaknesses of double opt-in

• Adding an extra step to the process often reduces the number of completed sign-ups. This may be by accident on the viewers part, they may be busy and forget to go back to their email to confirm, or perhaps your email sadly went straight to the Spam folder 

• A double opt-in process will initially present your subscriber with a considerable amount of emails in the first few days, this may be off-putting to some who could consider it to be spammy. 

Your go-to guide to suss out whether to use a single or double opt-in process.

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When to use Single or Double Opt-in? 

Now we understand what the difference is between the two opt-in processes, how they may benefit you differently, we can apply which situation each process would suit best. 

At the end of the day, the variable opt-in processes both suit differing situations and goals. 

Single Opt-in

Gated content : Single opt-in could be the route to take on a sign-up form on a landing page housing gated content. For example, if you have a new whitepaper out which you would like to give readers access to in exchange for an email address. Using a single opt in will keep the exchange of information simple.

List building: If your goal is to quickly maximise your list growth and boost email campaign performance in the short term, then the single opt-in could be your go to process. A lot of people may think that extra step is one step too many and forget to complete the whole process. 

 Double Opt-in 

Spam target: If you find your sign up forms continually being plagued by bots, the double opt-in process will keep your list clean.

Deliverability problems: Deliverability issues caused by spam addresses, poor open rates and high bounce rates would be a compelling reason to use double opt-ins

Combined welcome email: The double opt-in process can be combined with your initial welcome email. It’s a great chance to provide the reader with a selection of first-rate content that reinforces and demonstrates why the reader should confirm their email address. 


A key takeaway: To gain a readers email address and details, legally you must have their permission. By using either of the opt-in processes mentioned above you will be doing so. Therefore choose wisely based on your marketing objectives and strategy. 

At e-shot™ we allow clients to choose which opt-in process to take, as you can see, each process can work for different situations and everyone has their own goals to be met. 

Are you interested in learning ways to improve your deliverability and inbox placement? Check out our latest feature update, Email Forensics. Your go-to tool for making sure you stay out of the spam folder. 


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