All You Need to Know About Double Opt-In Email Marketing

All You Need to Know About Double Opt-In Email Marketing
Rithesh Raghavan

Do you have concerns about the quality of your email list? Do you want to increase the open rate for all your email messages? Embracing double opt-in email marketing might be the solution you need. Double opt-in helps you to verify the authenticity of a customer’s interest in your brand.

Image by Muhammad Ribkhan from Pixabay

Double opt-in email marketing involves including a second layer of action before a customer can be added to your email list. When you deploy the double opt-in email marketing technique, a customer typically has to verify their place in your email list by clicking a link sent in a welcome email. Some businesses send a code that must be entered in the subscription window to complete the signup process, but the former method is by far the most popular.

This piece contains all the details you need to know about double opt-in email marketing to help you decide if it is for your brand.

Double Opt-in vs Single Opt-in Email Marketing

For single opt-in email marketing, a prospect only has to fill out a form once to be added to the subscription list.  The content of the form will include an email address and a few more personal details. Single opt-ins allows you to grow your email list quickly.

With double opt-in, the users are added to your database, only once they confirm their subscription. So after signing up, the prospects receive a follow-up email with details on how to confirm their subscription.

Double opt-in allows you to confirm that the user absolutely wants to be your email list for campaigns. Your email list will most likely not grow as fast as single opt-in lists, but you can be confident that most of your subscribers are high value. This is because in many cases, 20% of the email addresses in single opt-ins are not useful.

The Advantages of Double Opt-in Email Marketing

Get more qualified leads

As covered above, a double opt-in approach ensures that your email list only has people that absolutely want to be there as well as valid email addresses. With it, you can rule out wrong addresses as a result of typos, people entering non-existent emails or emails that are not theirs, etc.

If a customer signs up but does not proceed to confirm their address, they are most likely not that interested in your offers and will ignore your emails anyway. By weeding out such groups, you can ensure better results for your email marketing campaigns.

Ensure GDPR Compliance

When you use the double-opt-in technique in your email marketing, you can show proof that all subscribers in your database gave their consent before being included in the list. This is important in the GDPR era.

GDPR does not mandate you to use the double opt-in process, but it requires you to have proof that the subscriber does not have any problems with being in your email database. You will also be able to prevent cases where someone’s email address is added to your database by a random user without their consent.

Form Instant Relationships with Your Prospects

With single opt-in email marketing, your first contact with your new prospects is your first regular email campaign or newsletter. With double opt-in, you have to send an email immediately to push the confirmation of the address provided. Fortunately, you are not mandated to follow a routine with your confirmation emails.

You can tap into this first point of contact with a subscriber to showcase your brand even further. Apart from the warm welcome message, include a quality message that helps strike a relationship with your target audience. Help the subscriber to know a bit more about your brand before they receive their first email from your regular email marketing campaigns.

Reduce Your Unsubscribe Rate

Since double opt-in ensures that everyone in your email database gave their consent, it is only natural that very few of them will want to unsubscribe from the list.  The risk of losing 20% of your subscribers by implementing a confirmation process is canceled out by the prospects of retaining a majority of your subscribers.

Improve Deliverability Rate

There is no denying the fact that email spam is a big problem. If you need a reminder, here are some statistics on the state of global email spam.  Improvements by email providers have led to some decline in the past few years, but more than 60% of the emails delivered on the web today are spam.

It is no surprise that email providers and ISPs are working hard to keep out anything that looks like spam.  Many people are also quick to mark emails as spam if they can’t find a reason why the email has made its way to their inbox. With the rise in phishing attacks, this is understandable.

Unfortunately, your emails will also be marked as a spam automatically by email providers if a large number of the people in your database have sent your emails to spam. It doesn’t matter if they only did it because they didn’t want to go through the stress of finding the “unsubscribe” link.

The number of people scrambling for the “Mark as Spam” tab will definitely be higher with single opt-ins in comparison to double opt-ins.  So by choosing double opt-in, you can expect a higher deliverability rate as more people open and engage with your messages.

Are there any Disadvantages to Opt-In Email Marketing?

As touched on briefly above, the double opt-in approach isn’t without its drawbacks.  Some of the disadvantages include:

Losing subscribers that don’t double opt-in

In a distraction-filled digital space, there are many reasons why a subscriber will not complete the double opt-in process.

Research shows that the email list grows by up to 30% if you do not use the double-opt-in strategy in your email marketing campaigns. Does the prospect of losing out on up to 30% of your potential subscribers appeal to you?

Losing sales as a result of collecting fewer emails

Another research showed that one in five people will not confirm their email address when you choose the double opt-in approach with your email-marketing.  This means losing 20% of prospective subscribers, which will have a negative impact on your generated leads, conversions, and prospective revenues.

Types of Content for Your Double Opt-In Emails

If you choose not to have a plain-old welcome text with double opt-in emails, there are many several content options you can incorporate. Below are some examples.

Re-emphasize the value of your brand

The content of the confirmation email should remind subscribers of why they signed up and what they stand to lose if they do not confirm their subscription. This will give then the additional nudge, if required, to complete the sign-up process.

For example, if you operate an e-commerce store, your confirmation email can include value proposition statements like:

  • “Be notified of new products immediately.”
  • “Be the first to know about all deals and save money.”

A single line like any of the above will remind the customer of why they signed up. It will also show them why they have to confirm their contact details.

Encourage Engagement with Your Social Media Channels

The confirmation email is your opportunity to help your audience to connect deeper with your brand and engage with your other social media channels. If a customer is interested in your brand, they are more likely to follow your social media pages. Use the confirmation email to point them in the right direction immediately.

Apart from including links to your social media profiles, you can encourage the user to take part in your referral program or any special promotions you have going on. The conversion rates for this approach may not be huge, but what do you stand to lose?

Don’t forget to highlight your customer service details for customers that have any problems they need to address. People that accidentally signed up may prefer to use this option if your brand appeals to them, instead of hitting the “unsubscribe” tab.

Highlight Your Brand

What is your brand about? Even when you decide not to engage in subtle marketing with your confirmation email, you can use it to show your brand’s personality. Let your subscribers know what to expect in the future.  Is your brand direct and classic with communication? Is it goofy or trendy?  By showing your brand personality early enough in the relationship, your subscribers will know what to expect.

A quick tip: find a way to humanize your brand if the overall persona allows it. A simple touch like incorporating the picture of a pet, highlighting your eco-friendliness or similar can do the trick. These supposedly minor changes can strike at your subscriber’s emotions and encourage them to identify with your brand by completing the sign-up process.


The double opt-in strategy is an excellent way to refine your email marketing campaigns. It is a sure way to build highly targeted and engaged email lists for your business. This increases the chances of generating more leads and closing out more conversions.

If your brand is new, you may be more concerned with building your list as quickly as possible and decide to go with the single opt-in approach. However, you need to weigh both options and decide what works for your brand.

You will grow your subscriber base faster if you choose not to use double opt-in for now, but is the quantity better than quality? If your email marketing campaigns are more about spreading brand awareness than actual conversions, it may not matter which approach you take.

More established businesses can use A/B testing to determine the approach to use.


Rithesh Raghavan is the Co-Founder and Director at Acodez