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When a new email marketing campaign is launched, one of the first decisions that email marketers need to make is whether they need to use a single opt-in or a double opt-in. In order to understand which option is the best for you, you first need to understand each of the choices and know the difference between them.

Single Opt-In

When a new email address is added to your mailing list through a one-step process without the need for the email address owner to confirm definitively that they knowingly and willingly opted-in, is known as a single opt-in.

Once the user enters their email ID into your sign-up or join us box, their email addresses get instantly added to your email list and the new subscriber begins to receive emails from you.


  • User Ease: With the single opt-in, the subscriber need not look for an email in their inbox or remember to click the confirmation link. They get instant satisfaction as they receive the email immediately.
  • Build Lists Faster: Single opt-ins help in growing your email list more rapidly as people tend to forget or overlook confirming subscription if the process requires more than one step.
  • Fewer Lost Email IDs: As the steps to opting-in increases, the chances of losing email IDs increases as they become unusable – as the person hasn’t confirmed a second time.
  • Fewer Tech Resources Used: If you are using a third-party email marketing platform like the V-Mail portal then you wouldn’t need to allocate any extra technical resources to build a double opt-in system if you want one. But if you are building one on your own, then a single opt-in would be a much more effective solution to your email marketing program.


  • Less Respect Of User’s Privacy: There is less concern for privacy and information control when it comes to the single opt-in sign-up procedure. This gets noticed by users at times and gets them concerned.
  • Higher Risk To Sender Reputation: A lot of bad email addresses can easily enter your email list which can impact your reputation as a sender. It will add to the statistics of undelivered addresses and could even risk being marked as spam.

The Bottom Line

When using a single opt-in, both the subscriber and the marketer experience a much simpler and much cleaner subscription process. It also creates a higher amount of engagement and can be very useful as long as there is a clear permission language, good list hygiene and sensible supervision of inactive subscribers.


Double Opt-In

A double opt-in sign-up, also known as a confirmed opt-in, requires a user to confirm that they have actively joined your email list. This happens after the new subscriber clicks a confirmation link in an opt-in confirmation request or subscription activation email that is sent to them in the shape of a checkbox or a form.


  • Protection Of A Better Quality List: There is no use owning an email list that is extensive but not filled with high-quality addresses. With the use of a double opt-in, the risk of collecting a bad email address is eliminated. Double opt-ins protects your email list, your company, and even your subscribers.
  • Immediate Communication With Subscribers: Through a confirmation email, you will be able to communicate with your subscribers on an immediate basis and through this email, you will be able to inform them about your company, request them to add their email to your list and even be able to provide a special email offer.


  • Slow List Building: Double opt-ins require users to do more work to become a part of your email list which translates to a lot of lost addresses.
  • Lost Addresses: Many email subscribers end up not following through with their subscription confirming as sometimes the email will end up in their spam folder or it might be simply forgotten and then you would have lost a potential lead.
  • Additional Tech Resources Required: If building your own email marketing solution, then a double opt-in system will require much more tech resources but if using a third party solution like V-Mail then you needn’t worry about it.

The Bottom Line

If the aim is to increase email engagement levels and keep a high-quality list, then double opt-in is the way to go as volume isn’t the aim.

Our Recommendation

According to a research conducted by litmus, 53.5% marketers prefer a single opt-in method over the double opt-in method when it came to collecting permissions. In spite of this view, we believe that in the long run, the protection of the email list quality and sender reputation takes higher priority than just the volume of the email list.

In the end, when making a decision you will need to keep in mind your business goals regarding list growth, ease for the customer, sender reputation, and the protection of the quality of your list. When testing, it is always better to err on the side of caution and test using a double opt-in. And don’t worry, it isn’t a permanent decision. You can always change your mind later.


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