Single Opt-in vs. Double Opt-in for Email Marketing: Which is More Effective?

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Email marketing is still effective and might be the greatest way to expand your company. Social networking, search engine optimization, etc., are all beaten by email marketing as the most efficient marketing medium. Because of this, creating an effective email marketing strategy is more crucial than ever.

With this in mind, let’s see the difference between the single and double opt-in for email marketing:


A single opt-in is when an individual adds their email address to an opt-in form. This leads to that person being automatically subscribed to the sender's list, and they will instantly start receiving the sender's emails.

  • The list is bigger and grows quickly
  • It has high risk of a spam trap, and many hard bounces and unsubscribes


Double opt-in is similar in that an individual adds their email to an opt-in form. However, the difference is that the individual receives an email with a confirmation link. The person is not yet subscribed to your list and will not be able to receive email until they click on the confirmation link.

  • There are more engaged users and qualified leads. The list is clean, and there are twice as many clicks and openings
  • The list is typically smaller and it does not grow quickly. Also, the sender risks losing subscribers during the second subscribing stage

Setting yourself up to be successful in email marketing can be a bit challenging. It is crucial to get it right and use the right approach to ensure your email marketing profitability.

So, is single or double opt-in the most effective for email marketing?
Furthermore, in what ways is either of them the most effective for email marketing?

Read on as we help you figure out the answers to these questions.

Single Opt-in vs. Double Opt-in: Which is More Effective in Terms of Value?

Double opt-in is a favored choice as it has to do with smaller lists of specifically targeted people instead of larger lists of random individuals. When you opt for double opt-in, your users will get an additional email so they can confirm their subscription to your email list by clicking a button.

By ensuring that only specific people who genuinely want to receive your emails are on your list, double opt-in safeguards both your list as well as your deliverability. More engaged users and qualified leads may result from this.

Email marketing ethics ought to be followed. The fact that you can be certain that your users did genuinely request information from you ensures you are also protected legally. In contrast, the single opt-in does not guarantee that because just about anyone could use someone else's email.

This means that you'd be sending emails to people who never asked for information from you, which would be considered spam. You stay on the right side by using double opt-ins to get emails to add to your list by routinely cleaning your list to remove any emails that have become invalid, etc.

Therefore, it has been demonstrated that double opt-in lists can generate up to twice as many clicks and openings as single opt-in lists.

Additionally, this method does not receive as many hard bounces or unsubscribes that often happen with a single opt-in. Essentially, by using double opt-in lists, senders can avoid adding a spam trap to the list. They won't get rid of spam complaints, but they tend to minimize them. (Related article: 6 Strategies to Increase Your Opt-in Rate and Get More Email Subscribers)

Which is More Effective for Quickly Growing a User List?

When growing an email list, the user has to give you their email in exchange for your lead magnet. With single opt-in, the user automatically goes on your list and, therefore, your follow-up in that single moment. However, with double opt-in, extra confirmation is required. This is where the user needs to access their email, open a confirmation email, and willingly click a link.

Because of this extra step for you to get a double opt-in confirmation, it isn't surprising that the growth of your list is much slower with a double opt-in strategy. Furthermore, there may be a tiny number of dropouts between the user handing over their email and the confirmation stages. The conversion rates are higher the fewer steps you need to complete to sign up for the newsletters.

Single opt-in is an effective method for those new to email marketing to swiftly collect addresses. Still, there is unquestionably a danger of collecting spamming subscriptions or incorrect addresses, which can seriously harm your reputation for your domain.

This is why many think quality, not numbers, is what a good email list should aim for. Because of this, many people appear to favor double opt-in. It's a fantastic approach to guarantee that your followers are receptive and engaged and to completely eliminate any chance of high bounce rates or spammer addresses.

Therefore, when it comes to how fast a user list grows, single opt-in is more effective. Small businesses eager to grow their customer base generally use single opt-in. In contrast, businesses with a high number of interactive leads use double opt-in to avoid further problems with invalid email addresses.

Although the list is smaller with double opt-in, you can be assured that it is more effective. This is because people who take the time to confirm their email addresses are letting you know they are invested.

Which is More Effective at Cutting Costs?

You can also effectively cut down on costs when using a double opt-in method, as senders usually pay for email addresses depending on their list size. As double opt-in confirms subscribers' emails, you can cut costs by avoiding inactive subscribers. The opposite is true for single opt-in.

This is because single opt-in does not have the same feature of cleaning up an email list as double opt-in. Furthermore, it is because the email list is extensive because there is just one step instead of the double opt-in confirmation step. For these reasons, double opt-in is much more effective for senders to lower their email addresses expense.

The Verdict

One of the most efficient channels at present is email marketing. Far more effective than calling individuals and bothering them. The dispute between double and single opt-in ultimately boils down to a choice between quantity and quality. Double opt-in is if you want a responsive list, which in the future means more effective marketing. However, if you want one that is bigger, a single opt-in works better.

But, ultimately, double opt-in is more effective for email marketing. Although the sender's list's growth may be slow compared to a single opt-in, it produces a higher-quality list over time. Furthermore, the email list is constantly cleaned, ensuring that spam complaints happen less frequently. (Related article: Email Opt-in: 8 Best Practices to Build a High Quality Email List)

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!