Ah, yes, email marketing. Much like online marketing, being able to build an email list is one of those things that we all want to master.
There are various methods to go about this:
- Provide epic content that people crave and want delivered to their inbox
- Offer an incentive on your site or blog that prompt people to sign to your email list
- Using pop-ups and fly-ins to catch the eye of a reader and prompt an opt-in
There are a few more that I’m sure I’m missing, but no matter what method you use, the fact that you use any method at all shows that you want to grow your email list.
It’s one thing to grow your list, but it’s another thing to get subscribers who truly want your content and will open your emails.
The best way to get and deliver that is via the double opt-in option in your email marketing service.
What is Double Opt-in Email Marketing?
So first we gotta tackle this question: Just what in the blue blazes is double opt-in email marketing?
Generally speaking, there are two options you are given when setting up your email subscription list on your email marketing platform:
(1) Single Opt-in, and (2) Double Opt-in
- Single Opt-in works like this. You offer the ability to subscribe to your email list on your site and someone who visits your site decides that they want to get on your list. They type in their email address and they’re automatically added to your list — no other action is needed on their part.
- Double Opt-in works a bit differently. If you offer the option to subscribe to your email list on your site and someone opts in to subscribe, then once they enter their information on your site, they will be sent an email asking them to confirm their subscription before they are actually added to your list. Therefore, there is essentially a two-step process to getting on your list.
That is what double opt-in is. Pretty simple, right?
Now, on the surface, the single opt-in idea for subscribing to your list may seem like the best idea, but there are a few reasons why you may want to avoid using it.
Is the Single Opt-in Option Just a Terrible Idea?
To answer the question about this, no, going with the single opt-in option for your email list isn’t always the worst thing ever (stale coffee… that the worst thing ever). On the other hand, though, there are reasons why you should probably steer clear of the using it…
The Pros and Cons of Single Opt-in List Building
Pro: It’s One Step Instead of Two
This is one thing that most of us could argue in support of single opt-in email marketing. We all want to make it easy and simple for our subscribers to get on our list so that they don’t have anything to hassle with and so that we gain that subscriber.
Therefore, since the single opt-in option offers that ease, it does have the upper hand in that regard.
Pro: It Build Your Email List Faster
Leading off the idea above, since using the single opt-in option makes it easier for people to subscribe to your list, logic would lead on to think that this will help you grow your email list faster.
Con: Spam Subscribers (and Don’t Forget Them Spambots)
Unfortunately, this con could cut the two pros listed above at their knees.
If you’re offering any type of incentive to your subscription opt-in list, then there are plenty of people out there who will enter a fake email address just to get access to the free information you are giving out.
This is a win-win for them in the sense that they get the information for free and they don’t have to be added to your list when they didn’t really want that in the first place. However, this is a huge bummer for you.
Not only will you be sending emails to non-existent mailboxes, but you also have emails that are just wasting space on your list and possibly making your pay more for no reason. Lest we not forget the spambots trolling the web to be irritating like this too.
So, even though single opt-in email marketing can have its upsides, the fact that it can be easily susceptible to spam brings it initial value to an all time low.
It’s not to say that that this choice will be the worst thing ever, but don’t you want to send your emails out to people who truly value your information and who will ultimately be the ones to buy from you?
That’s generally what most of us want, but single opt-in email market can cause issues with that goal.
Why it is Better to Use Double Opt-in Email Marketing
After taking a brief look at the single opt-in option for email marketing, you’re probably starting to shy away from the idea as it is. However, let’s take a closer look at why it’s better to use double opt-in for your subscription list.
A Look at Some Numbers
Back in 2011, MailChimp created a data driven post that took a look at the variables between double opt-in versus single opt-in marketing. Here is what their numbers showed:
- Double opt-in emails had a better open rate and saw a 72.2% increase on Unique Opens (emails opened which did not count multiple opens from a single subscriber)
- Double opt-in lists saw a 144% higher open rate compared to single opt-in lists
- Double opt-in emails saw 48.3% lower bounce rate than single opt-in emails
- The unsubscribe stats showed that double opt-in rates were 7% lower than single opt-in emails, too
Even though these are the statistics from a single data-driven post from MailChimp only, the numbers that they collected are rather revealing.
In just about every area that matters, the double opt-in email list performed leaps and bounds better than its easier opt-in counterpart. The bounce rate and opening rate seem to be the most alarming in terms of differences in how the two perform.
You can read the entire post here:
The numbers don’t lie, baby. Clearly, there are large advantages to using double opt-in for your email lists. Sure, the single opt-in option can technically allow you to grow your list faster, but the quality of your list and your email marketing efforts as a whole will probably be adversely affected. Not to mention that spikes in unsubscribers could get your kicked off your email marketing service.
And when you really think about it, the people who opt-in for you email list are already on a computer or mobile device which means that their email isn’t too far out of reach for them. Just a few clicks really.
If they go to their email and confirm their subscription, then chances are that they really do want to be on your list and you’ve just gained a valuable lead and subscriber.
If they decide not to confirm their subscription with you, then you may be losing a subscriber, but you likely just have saved yourself from a spambot or spammer that didn’t really want to be on your list in the first place.
Either way, you come out the winning end and you’re building a high-quality list which is where the money really is.
Over To You
Using the double opt-in option for email marketing appears to be the best choice out there, but everyone seems to have different opinions on this topic.
Personally, I’m team Double Opt-in, but that’s just me. Now let’s hear your opinion.
Do you think single opt-in or double opt-in is better, and why would you choose one over the other? Let us know your thoughts on the topic below.