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Double Opt-In: The Key to Building a Profitable Email List 

Double opt-in

What do you believe would facilitate the success of an email marketing campaign: having a large list of subscribers or a list of subscribers who genuinely express interest in your business?

The answer is clear. We all want subscribers who actively engage with our emails. So, the best approach is to focus on building an email list of people who have already shown interest in your product or business. These should be your target audience, and your primary goal should be to encourage them to share their email addresses willingly.

This is where the vital role of the double opt-in process comes into play. Implementing a double opt-in subscription system ensures that you have a list of high-quality subscribers, which in turn dramatically skyrockets your email deliverability rate. 

We’ll give you a detailed explanation of how to use the double opt-in method and explore alternative methods to help you figure out which one suits you best. But first, let’s begin by understanding what double opt-in means.

What is a Double Opt-In 

“You’re receiving this because you’ve expressed interest in receiving emails about our products and services. Please click the link below to confirm.”

Have you ever received an email like this before? Probably yes.

An email like this is what a new subscriber finds in their inbox after submitting their email on a website that employs the double opt-in subscription method.

Fundamentally, double opt-in is a process that requires subscribers to confirm their subscriptions twice. This ensures they are fully aware they’re signing up to receive emails from a specific company. This makes the subscription process transparent for subscribers and, at the same time, helps businesses build a clean list of active email users who are more likely to engage with their services.

When someone submits their email on a website, they receive an email asking them to click a link to confirm their subscription. Only after the recipient clicks on that link can they start receiving newsletters, promotional offers, and other types of marketing emails from the company.

That’s why we call it a ‘double opt-in method’ — because it asks users to confirm their subscription twice.

Now, you might be thinking that adding an extra step for confirmation could lead to losing a bunch of subscribers.

That is correct, to a degree. A business does lose some vaguely interested recipients, but here’s the kicker: it gains a substantial number of high-quality subscribers, and that’s the primary goal. Isn’t it?

How Double Opt-In Holds Up Email Marketing Campaign 

What’s the point of having a large number of email addresses when a significant portion of them never even open your emails, and a quarter of those addresses end up being invalid? It’s an utter waste of time and effort. Unfortunately, many people still engage in this practice, and some even resort to buying email lists, but ultimately, it negatively impacts their sender reputation. 

Since double opt-in mitigates these risks, it’s the most secure option to employ.

Three compelling reasons why we recommend double opt-in as the best choice to boost sender reputation:

  1. It weeds out non-functioning email addresses: At times, bots and even certain individuals submit fake emails to proceed with the form-filing process, but since double opt-in involves an additional email verification step, such bots and spammers couldn’t make their way into your email list;
  2. It builds a clean list of high-quality subscribers: Double opt-in ensures that all submitted email addresses are active, significantly boosting the deliverability rate of your email campaigns;
  3. It assures a high open and click rate: With every subscriber double-verifying their desire to receive your content, the likelihood of them engaging with your material becomes exceedingly high.

Considering that double opt-in significantly enhances the sender reputation, failing to capitalize on this method would be a big mistake.

Don’t Mistake a Double Opt-In for a Single Opt-In Method 

The distinction between single opt-in and double opt-in mirrors the contrast between quantity and quality in audience growth.

However, single opt-in unquestionably expedites the sign-up process as it doesn’t necessitate email address verification from users. You simply encounter a contact form, fill it out, input your email address, and click submit. That’s all there is to it. The business then adds the email address provided by the subscriber at that moment to its audience list and commences sending marketing emails to that address.

This makes the single opt-in method the best subscription system to choose when your goal is to expand your email list rapidly.  However, the downside of it is that it doesn’t provide the option to verify whether an email address is active or not. You only become aware of this when you either receive a hard bounce or notice, after several attempts, that the contact never opens the emails you send. In both cases, the sender reputation will be significantly affected.

To counter the email list issues, at Campaign Refinery, we utilize our built-in email list-cleaning tool. This tool automatically identifies and removes email addresses that could potentially impact our clients’ email campaigns negatively. We take proactive measures to safeguard our clients’ sender reputation and ensure their email marketing operations yield the best results possible. 

Double opt-in VS. Single opt-in

To gain a deeper understanding of how both of these opt-in methods impact businesses, review the following information:

Email List Quality Metrics Double Opt-InSingle Opt-In
Sign Up Process 2 Step Long 1 Step Quick
Email Verification Effectively DoesCan’t Do
Sender’s Reputation Improves Puts at Risk
Deliverability RateImproves Unstable 
Open RateImproves Unstable 
Click RateImproves Unstable 
Double Opt-in VS Single Opt-in

The double opt-in method emerges as the clear winner. It proves to be the most effective subscription method overall, ideal for businesses aiming to run long-term email campaigns and maintain a clean email list.

How Marketers Streamline Double Opt-In Method

Double opt-in does indeed involve a lengthier process compared to single opt-in. However, if you maneuver users effectively and offer them a glimpse of what they can gain and what they might miss out on, they will readily and willingly provide their emails.

4 steps of the double opt-in method

Marketers expertly navigate users through the following 4 steps of the double opt-in method to acquire high-quality subscribers:

  1. Subscription Form: Guide users to the subscription or opt-in form page, which marketers customize to encourage them to complete the form and submit their email addresses;
  2. Thanks for Subscribing Page: It arises after the user submits his email. It thanks the user and guides him to check his email for the subscription verification;
  3. Subscription Confirmation Email: A user receives this email that contains a link, which he clicks to confirm his subscription;
  4. Subscription Confirmation Thankyou Page: The user lands on this page right after clicking the subscription confirmation link. The page extends a warm welcome and provides information about the benefits he’ll receive through his subscription.

If you manage to guide users from the first step to the fourth, you will ultimately have a list of subscribers who are fully engaged, committed, and loyal to your business. 

That’s why savvy marketers use the following strategies to shepherd users through the four-step process:

  • They customize the subscription form page to provide users with a seamless UX, making them feel as though the product is tailored just for them;
  • They create a sense of urgency and, at times, scarcity to make users feel like they’re getting the best deal;
  • They showcase various social proofs and testimonials to build credibility; 
  • At times, they reward users with a free resource and direct them to open the confirmation email to access it;
  • They personalize the subscription confirmation email akin to a welcome email, using a button link instead of simply pasting a URL, resulting in up to a 10x increase in click rates.

No doubt, setting up and running a double opt-in requires more initial effort compared to the single opt-in method. However, in the long run, it delivers a multitude of benefits that far outweigh those of single opt-in. That’s precisely why marketers aiming for a lasting relationship with their subscribers often choose this approach.

Why Businesses Prefer Double Opt-In Over Other Methods

When you have a list of subscribers, there’s a good chance that a significant portion of them won’t even open the emails you send. Low open rates make our emails susceptible to being flagged, which can significantly damage your sender reputation.

It’s a common challenge for many businesses. In fact, 72% of them find themselves in this situation and eventually take action to filter out email addresses that show no engagement with their emails. Opting to risk having your email flagged as spam, just to reach subscribers about whom you’re uncertain if they’re even interested in your product, would be a bad decision.

Count the time, effort, and resources you’ll spend later on to rebuild your domain’s credibility and improve your open and click rates. Considering all these factors, they require a lot more work altogether than setting up a double-opt-in system, which safeguards your business from these issues.

In addition to that, businesses prefer a double opt-in for the following reasons:

  • It helps you attract a top-notch audience by filtering out potentially cold subscribers;
  • It ensures that your emails land in the inbox folder; 
  • It makes sure your subscribers really want to get your emails, thus keeping your unsubscribe rate low while boosting your engagement rate;
  • It eliminates the risk of your emails being flagged as spam;
  • It completely cuts off the chances of spam bots infiltrating your subscribers’ list, thereby safeguarding your email campaign from a high bounce rate.

Now that you understand how vital double opt-in is for your business, you might be wondering how to set it up. 

At Campaign Refinery, It Takes a Few Clicks to Enable the Double Opt-In Subscription System

Our user-friendly interface makes it incredibly easy for our clients to navigate through the process. Plus, our expert team is there to guide you at every step. Once you’ve updated your subscription preferences to double opt-in, the changes take effect immediately.

Additionally, our campaign library offers a wealth of inspiration for crafting enticing welcome emails, which you can set to run on autopilot mode. 

Automation plays a crucial role in every step of running a successful email marketing campaign. Our clients have reported up to a 37% instant increase in open rates through our best-in-class email service system.

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We love sharing our knowledge, and we’re offering you this course absolutely free of charge for a limited time. So, seize this opportunity.

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Let us know later how quickly these techniques have boosted your subscriber count!

And happy emailing!

Written by Nikhil Gupta

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