Single Opt In VS Double Opt In, What’s Better?

I’ve been focusing a lot of improving my email marketing campaigns lately, I’ve shifted providers & tried various different things but one of the biggest decisions I had to make was whether to go single opt-in or double opt-in. Initially I started out with double, then I made the move to single, now I’m back over with double & I’m going to explain why in this post.

Started out with double opt-in.

Initially I launched all of my campaigns with double opt-in, meaning that after a visitor had submitted their email they then had to go into their inbox & confirmed they wanted to receive the information. This was all well & good but a whopping 50% of my leads didn’t confirm their email. That meant an insane amount of leads were getting left on the table each & every day… I had to do something, it was horrible seeing all those leads basically slip through my fingers!

So I switched to single opt-in…

I figured that since my leads weren’t confirming that if I switched to single opt-in it’d solve my problem & everything would be plain sailing from there onwards… Oh but I was wrong! In fact things got worse.

My leads were no longer getting left on the table but now next to none of them were actually getting any of my emails. The majority of my signups tend to have Hotmail addresses & hotmail was just throwing all of my emails into the junk folder so my subscribers were completely unaware that I was actually sending them any mail.

When I’d originally been using double opt-in those that did actually make effort to confirm basically told hotmail “this emails good” when they clicked the link so Hotmail moved future mail directly into the inbox – this didn’t happen with single opt-in so it was all just going unnoticed.

Now you’re probably thinking that I must have just been sending out spam & that it wouldn’t be the case if you spent time working on your content… That couldn’t be further from the truth, the emails I sent were nothing more than welcome emails – they contained no outbound links whatsoever and were nothing but pure quality yet they were still disappearing into the junk folder. That’s just how Hotmail (and Yahoo) seem to work, regardless of what the email is if it gets sent from a recognised autoresponder service they just throw it into the junk until the recipient has basically said “this ones good”.

I spent literally days & days trying to get my single opt-in mails to land in the inbox of providers such as Hotmail & yahoo but I just couldn’t, in the end I gave up.

The dilemma.

I was now faced with 2 options, I could either revert back to double opt-in and leave leads on the table or I could remain single opt-in and hope that people eventually found my emails.

To be honest after a weeks trial I was seeing much, much worse results with single opt-ins. The number of leads just didn’t make up for the sheer drop in open rates. I made the decision to revert back to double opt-in.

Back to double opt-in I went.

I reverted back & once again leads were getting left on the table but my open rate became much higher simply because the subscribers were expecting an email from me & I specifically told you them to check their spam folder for the confirmation email. This meant for those who did confirm they basically “whitelisted” my email by clicking on the confirm link & future communication went straight into their inbox. I actually signed up for each service & personally found this to be the case.

In my eyes & based on the tests I carried out double opt-in is much better for open rates. At the end of the day if those people didn’t want to confirm their email then the chances are they didn’t really want your mail or weren’t too interested in your offer so they were probably not a very good lead anyway. However despite that I’d still prefer for them to confirm their email so I can at least get the chance to try & convince them, and simply allow them to unsubscribe at will if what I’m offering still doesn’t interest them.

I figured it was all about the thank you page, I needed to give them clear instructions to go into their email & find the confirmation message. I used this template from LeadPages in the hope that this would increase my confirmed opt-ins:

LeadPages Thankyou Page

It did increase my confirmed opt-ins, but only slightly. I still wasn’t happy with how many leads were getting left on the table so I decided to try something else… I needed to tease the user into confirming their email, give them something in return for doing so.

I scrapped that thank you page & instead I set a password protected WordPress page up entitled “Check Email After Subscribing For Password!!! – How To Make $300 – $500 Per Day REVEALED”.

Of course it wasn’t a false promise, I backed it up with a video guide explaining how you could earn that amount of money online (a very good video guide if I do say so myself) and guess what….. 95% of my subscribers confirmed their email address.

That’s a whopping 45% increase from my original 50% rate.

So which is better?

Double confirmed opt-in is hands down the best option for a whole load of reasons with the two main ones being:

  • Your mail has a higher chance of landing in the recipients inbox, not the spam folder.
  • Your subscriber wants your mail & is less likely to report it as spam.

So whilst double opt-in may take a little bit more work to perfect, it’s absolutely definitely the better option for a more successful email marketing strategy. Whilst single opt-in may feel like you’re getting more leads, you’re only gaining numbers – not readers.

Double opt-in is king.

P.S. it’s time to be completely honest…

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About the Author:
Born & raised in England, Dale is the founder of Living More Working Less & he has been making a living from his laptop ever since leaving his job as an electrician back in 2012. Now he shares what he's learned to help others do the same... [read more]