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Single Opt-in and Double Opt-in - Email Marketing Techniques

Updated on January 15, 2014

There are a lot of different types of internet marketing. Out of which, e-mail marketing is one of the most effective and profitable forms. Opt-in is an important term used in e-mail marketing. It refers to the process when a user signs-up a subscription form, and as a result, gives you the permission to send e-mails to him.

There are two different types of opt-ins. In fact, we should refer them as two different “levels” of opt-in.

These are: Single Opt-in and Double Opt-in.

Which type should you use for your blog and website?

Let’s have a look at both of them separately to find the answer.


1. Single Opt-In:

When we define the opt-in process, it is generally the single opt-in we talk about. This entire process is really simple. Let me explain it briefly.

You have a website or blog. As you would like to use the e-mail marketing medium, you need to build an e-mail list of subscribers and potential prospects to buy products from you.

In order to do that, you put up a subscription box, where you require your user’s name and e-mail address. We see this so often in blogs. See the following image for an example.

The is the subscription box from the famous blog,
The is the subscription box from the famous blog,

In order to induce more users to subscribe to the e-mail list, a lot of internet marketers give away a free product, e-book, guide, video course, etc. If a user wants to get that product for free, he will have to fill the sign-up form. In other words, he will have to “opt-in”.

The single opt-in method completes as soon as the user fills that form. He is included into your e-mail list right away, and you can then start sending him e-mails as per your policy. There is no confirmation required in the single opt-in method.

The biggest advantage of single opt-in is that it leads to a bigger list. As there will be a lot of different people wanting to get your product for free, you should acquire a good amount of subscribers quickly.

On the other hand, there are two big disadvantages of the single opt-in technique:

  • The first disadvantage is that a lot of people sign-up only because of the free product, and they are not genuinely interested in the constant updates about your niche. As a result, there will be many subscribers that won’t pay any attention to the e-mails you send. Your e-mail marketing campaign will have a very low opening rate, click-through rate (CTR) and return on investment (ROI).
  • The second disadvantage is that there will always be a chance that your e-mails are marked as spams. This is because a lot of your subscribers aren’t interested in your e-mail updates and newsletters, and they might consider such e-mails as intrusion to their privacy. A lot of spam-complaints may blacklist your e-mail marketing campaign.

2. Double Opt-in:

Unlike the single opt-in technique, the double opt-in method requires one extra step. This extra step makes sure that you only get highly targeted and interested subscribers.

In the double opt-in technique, the entire process of single opt-in remains the same. Although when a user fills the sign-up form, he is not instantly included to your e-mail list. Instead, he is sent a “confirmation e-mail” to verify his subscription.

This confirmation e-mail looks something like this:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hello Joe,

I am glad that you decided to subscribe.

You will have to confirm your subscription by clicking the following link. After that, I will make sure you get all the latest news and updates on our niche.


Thank you,

Yours truly,

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

In Conclusion:

Most internet marketers now prefer the double opt-in method. This is because the competition is now tougher than ever, and the inbox of an average internet user is already crammed up with tons of e-mails. You do not want to end up with the same fate.

Therefore, it is always a good idea to reconfirm the subscription with the double opt-in technique. You will lose because a few subscribers won’t take the action, but you will definitely end up with a more high-quality and targeted list that will respond and engage better. You won’t be spending your time and money to users who are not really interested in you what you have to say. And you will have a much better return on investment (ROI).


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have subscribed to both types of websites. Your hub really helps clarify the differences between them. Thanks!

    • profile image

      lesliebyars 4 years ago

      I voted up and useful on this hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • Adityapullagurla profile image

      Aditya Pullagurla 4 years ago from Sydney

      I am going to apply some techniques .. very useful hub