When it comes to email marketing, companies and organizations have a choice to make: Should they use double opt-in or single opt-in when acquiring new email subscribers? Ultimately, it comes down to email senders deciding between list size and list quality.
What is the difference between double opt-in and single opt-in?
For a single opt-in, the user agrees to receive an email by simply checking a box, leaving a pre-checked box checked, or entering their email address when they visit a website. Upon submission, the subscriber immediately begins receiving email marketing messages. With this form of opt-in, people often forget they “asked” to be emailed in the first place and, in turn, mark the message as spam. This form of opt-in tends to generate more bounces, blacklisting, spam trap hits, and other nasty results that adversely affect deliverability rates.
For a double opt-in, a new email subscriber signs up on a site and provides their email address. In order to receive the email messages, they must then confirm their approval by actually acknowledging the very first email they receive. They are not officially subscribed until they click a link in the first confirmation email. While this extra step can result in approximately 20% fewer opt-ins than with single opt-ins (purely in terms of the number of subscribers), double opt-ins are superior regarding ALL other stats.
Double opt-in: Will it improve the stats that matter?
If you’re planning to build long-term email marketing success, you need quality subscribers much more than you need quantity of subscribers. Therefore, confirmed emails provide much more value than the unconfirmed emails generated from single opt-in methods. If the extra step is too much trouble for a subscriber, then they likely were not a good fit in the first place. When it comes to stats, deliverability rates for lists that use double opt-in are significantly higher. Unsubscribe rates are lower, and click-through rates are higher, as well.
Essentially, it boils down to this: Double opt-in is a long-term strategy that produces many long-term benefits. It increases deliverability rates and click-through rates. Your email marketing results will soar when you focus on building a list of engaged email subscribers rather than merely looking for short-term success.
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