What Is Double Opt-In? (And How to Use It for Your Email List)

You’ve probably experienced this yourself:

You sign up for a company’s newsletter on their website. After submitting your email address, you get a note telling you to confirm your interest in joining their newsletter. To do this, you need to open your inbox and click the confirmation link they sent.

This scenario describes a double opt-in.

For some people, a double opt-in can mean extra effort. But from a business owner’s perspective, it means increasing the likelihood of getting quality subscribers – plus more benefits that come along with that.

Read until the end of this article and decide whether a double opt-in is right for your business.

What is a Double Opt-in?

A double opt-in is a two-step process where a person who submits their email address (to join a newsletter, download an ebook, access a course, etc.) has to confirm their action. This prospect will be added to your email list only if they click the confirmation link sent to their inbox.

Here is an example:

I’m interested in joining Luna’s mailing list – a company that sells weighted blankets. So I enter my email address into their form.

After entering my email, I got this note – “Check your email for a confirmation message.”

In contrast, a single opt-in doesn’t need this type of confirmation. When someone completes your contact form, whether they’re truly interested or not, they’re immediately added to your list.

You could be thinking:

“A single opt-in makes it so convenient for potential subscribers to join my list. It’s faster to grow my list this way. So why bother with a double opt-in?🤔”

What Are the Advantages of Using a Double Opt-In?

Now that we’re done with our double opt-in introduction, let’s learn some of the best ways it helps your business.

1. Reduced spam and fake emails

Spammers and pranksters are everywhere. It’s also possible that someone who wants to join your list is in a hurry and misspells their email address. At the end of the day, you’ll want a clean and healthy email list – not a list filled with junk.

2. Better engagement

A double opt-in process is a great way to verify someone’s interest in your marketing messages, product, or service. Because you have a list of subscribers that truly want to hear from you – you can expect more opens, clicks, and conversions. As a bonus, these people are less likely to unsubscribe.

3. Increased deliverability rates

Another important reason to choose double opt-in is that it boosts your deliverability in the long run. This means that your emails end up in a recipient’s inbox rather than their getting flagged as spam.

Here’s the rationale behind that:

When you’re getting lower open and engagement rates (because of fake addresses/uninterested subscribers), your IP reputation decreases. If that happens, your emails will land in their spam folder. Not cool.

❌ Does a double opt-in have disadvantages? Of course, there are. One obvious con is that it leads to a longer signup process which can annoy some subscribers. Also, while some subscribers are qualified, they might decide to confirm later but then forget about it.

💡Is the double opt-in a requirement for GDPR? The answer is no. Even though it’s commonly practiced in countries like Germany and Italy, it’s not legally required.

3 Double Opt-In Examples

If you’re looking for double opt-in examples, we’ve got some for you. You can use these examples from various companies to give ideas for your future campaigns.

1. Etsy

Here’s the first email Etsy sent me after signing up for their mailing list. They start by thanking me for signing up, then letting me know that I’m going to expect some fun stuff. But before that, I need to confirm my email by clicking the orange button below.

2. Yoast

This confirmation email from Yoast starts with the headline “Please confirm your subscription” followed by the subscription button. As a bonus, they remind me about being able to download their guide for free if I subscribe.

However, Yoast takes an extra step in letting me know that I can simply delete the email and won’t be subscribed unless I click confirm.

3. Copyblogger

While this confirmation email is short like the examples above, it reassures their audience that they’ll be getting timely advice using social proof (by mentioning Brian Clark’s years of experience).

Double Opt-In Best Practices for Email Marketing

Some people may be eager to hear from you, but the truth is that they might not always get the chance to confirm their subscription. They could be doing other things/are too busy at the moment… or are not aware that they need to click a link to verify their email.

To prevent that from happening, and maximize your double opt-in, read these best practices.

1. Remind your subscribers to check their inbox.

It’s important to make it clear that they need to take further action to confirm their form submission. You can add a simple instruction note above/below/beside the signup form. Or you can lead your subscriber to a Thank You page like what Copyblogger does:

2. Utilize the subject line.

Don’t stop with the instruction note or Thank You Page. Write a subject line reminding them of the subscription. Here are a few examples:

  • Confirm your [your company name] email
  • Confirm your free [your company name] subscription
  • Important: Confirm your [your company name] subscription
  • Confirm your email address on [your company name]
  • Please confirm your email to get your free [ebook/guide/course/tips]

So, when they go to their inbox, they can easily identify your confirmation email due to the headline. Keep your headline simple and straightforward.

3. Let them know what’s coming.

Keep your subscribers hooked by reminding them that good things are coming their way. Briefly mention the discounts/exclusive deals they can access, insider tips, and anything you can offer to those that are now part of your list.

Bonus Tip: Incentivize them with an extra freebie, like a beginner’s guide, to motivate them to click that confirmation link! 😉

Final Thoughts

In summary, a double opt-in is the best option to increase the quality of your list (over quantity), engagement, and avoid problems down the road.

And by implementing best practices like the ones we mentioned above, you’ll be able to get more people to confirm their subscription.

Here at UpViral, we help business owners/marketers/agencies grow their email lists through a viral referral system. 🎉One of our features is the double opt-in which allows your contest/giveaway/sweepstakes entrants to verify their email address before they’re added to your campaign.

If you’re not just aiming for a big email list, but you also care about getting qualified leads, then enable the double opt-in.

Did you learn from this post? Share them in the comments section below.

Haven’t tried UpViral yet? Start now for only $1.