Single vs. Double Opt-in for Your Email Marketing?

One of the first decisions you make in email marketing is whether to use single opt-in or double opt-in when people join your list.

Double opt-in is better in most situations because it guarantees better email list health and deliverability. But single opt-in can be superior for paid traffic, provided you keep your list clean.

Now let’s dig into the differences between double opt-in and single opt-in.

What’s the Difference Between Double Opt-in and Single Opt-in?

Single opt-in means a person is added to your email list as soon as they opt-in through a form or landing page.

Double opt-in means a person has to opt-in a second time. So after they enter they optin to a form or landing page, they must click an email.

The first opt-in was entering their email, and the second opt-in was clicking the email. That’s the “double” in double opt-in.

Here are the steps in a visual format

Here’s how it works on this site:

Step 1: Person enters their Email Address in a Form Like This:

FREE eBook: 7 sales-exploding email strategies you can use right now:

Step 2: They are redirected to a page saying "check your email"

It looks like this:

Step 3: They click a link or Button in an email (the double opt-in)

Here's mine:

With single opt-in, only step 1 is required.

For double opt-in, a person is only added to the list when they click the email in step 3.  

At the bottom of this article, you can enter your email to see the process.

Note: if you’re already on my list, you won’t need to confirm your email.

The Pros and Cons of Double Opt-In

Why Double Opt-In Is Superior for Most People

Double opt-in guarantees better email list health.

Only truly engaged people will check their email and click a link. 

Plus, the clicks themselves are good for list health.

And, 95%+ of fake and incorrect email addresses are eliminated right off the bat, which reduces the number of hard bounces you get. 

You’ll be shocked at how many people will enter gmail.cmo instead of

Where Double Opt-In Falls Short

The only real problem with double opt-in is that you force people to jump through more hoops to join your email list.

5 to 10% of people will never end up on your list because they don’t bother to confirm their emails.

But, you may be fine with that if you prioritize engagement and list health (like me).

The Pros and Cons of Single Opt-In

When to Use Single Opt-In 

I’m not a big fan of single opt-in. But, there is one situation where I would use it.

If I was running paid traffic to sell something on the spot through a webinar, video sales letter, or sales page, I would use single opt-in.

Because I’d want to get people to the buying point with zero delay.

The Obvious Problem with Single Opt-In

The challenge with single opt-in is that you end up with garbage emails in your database.

People will misspell their emails.

Others will make up email addresses because they want your free PDF or video.


Hard bounces. 

That means damage to your list health, and worse email deliverability over time.

But if you clean your list on a regular basis, it won’t be a big deal.

Should You Use Single Opt-In or Double Opt-in?

I’m gonna make this real simple.

If you are asking this question, just use double opt-in.

Only use single opt-in when you are sure it improves your ROAS (return on ad spend).

But if you knew that… you wouldn’t be reading this article, right?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}