Why Double Opt-in Is Good And Why I’m Going Back To It

Sorry if I looked interested, I'm not - double opt-in

When Less Is More

Let’s say you are the person opting in to an email list. You’ve seen an offer or something that genuinely interests you so you enter an active email address, you click the subscribe button and follow through to at least see what it’s all about. You’re happy to find out more and the person or company making the offer is happy to have an interested person on their list.

If you see an offer for a free gift though and you just want the free gift you might decide to put in a non-existent email address or an email address that goes to an account you never look at just so you can go to the next page and download the free gift. This is kind of ok for you but not much use to the list owner who really just wants interested people on their list. They want to send you emails, some with offers, some of which you will be interested in and you probably don’t want to receive lots of junk email that you are never going to look at anyway.

There are a couple of ways a person or company can handle this. One is not give away free gifts to you. That way they may not get you to sign up but the ones that do sign up are more likely to be interested. They might miss out if you just signed up for the free gift and become interested later on down the line. Another way is to go for double opt-in so that when you sign up you get an email with an activation link to click, that way you will have to give at least a genuine email address if you want to get the free gift or find out more. From your perspective it means you can either change your mind at this point or if you click the link you are giving express permission and really do want to receive more information.

I’m The Same

Of course, I’m the same, I sign up for things that I’m not really that interested in or that I just never get to look at … shiny object syndrome! I unsubscribe after a while but some of them I just hoard and redirect into folders I hardly ever get to look in. Crazy really but then, that’s what we can be like.

Single Vs Double opt-in

Single opt-in is saying “get everyone, just in case”, after all, you never know when an unlikely prospect will become a likely one. On the other hand, the list owner has to pay to store subscribers so maybe it’s better to have a better quality and more responsive list with less bounced emails than a bloated list full of uninterested subscribers.

For these reasons I’m going back to double opt-in. I want people that are interested instead of just numbers, after all, there is enough unwanted email flying around as it is.

Some Pros And Cons Of Double opt-in


  • There will be less subscribers.
  • It’s a bit more hassle for the subscriber who has to effectively give permission twice.
  • Less sales. Yes, it’s possible a few will get away because they didn’t confirm and get on the list.
  • Less people will see the thank you or offer page.


  • Lists of more interested subscribers.
  • Have less uninterested subscribers cluttering up lists which still probably have to be paid for.
  • Only get subscribers who submit a real email.
  • Get less bounced emails.
  • Because a subscriber has to confirm through an email they can’t easily come back and say they have been spammed as it takes a conscious decision to click the confirmation link.
  • More explicit permission to email a person.
  • If the auto responder allows a re-send of confirmation emails then this is another touch with a prospective subscriber albeit a small and functional one.
  • If anyone maliciously inputs the email address of someone else it will never get confirmed unless the email address owner decides to confirm. This means the email sender is less likely to be inadvertently accused of being a spammer.
  • Probably get less unsubscribes as there was more intention behind the sign up.
  • As a consequence of a higher quality list there should be better open rates for follow up and broadcast emails.
  • The person receiving the confirmation email may perceive the sender as more genuine and sincere.
double opt-in
Courtesy of Mailchimp

I hope that’s useful to you and if you would like to know about my future posts you can sign up to my once a week list below, if you are on this list you won’t get promotional emails unless I am personally recommending something and even then it will be a gentle promotion. You will get notified of my blog posts in my newsletter type broadcasts which I normally email out once or twice a week.

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Why Double opt-in Is Good And Why I’m Going Back To It

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