Double versus Single opt-in? Pain or gain?

36 replies
I'm sure this must have been discussed before... but it's always good to get the latest views.

So what are the pros and cons for using single or double optin on email?
  • Is double-optin a necessity?
  • Does double-optin hurt conversions?
  • Has anyone ever been warned by their autoresponder provider for Spam when using only single?
All comments welcome!

Thanks for thinking about it!

Michael
#double #gain #optin #pain #single #versus
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Hi Michael,

    If you use the search function in the forum, you'll find a lot
    of good arguments for using either single or double opt-in.

    By using double opt-in, you'll obviously end up with a smaller
    list as you're asking visitors to take one additional step.

    So yes, double opt-in does hurt visitor-to-subscriber opt-in
    conversion rates
    .

    However, you also end up with a list of subscribers who
    have valid e-mail addresses and have shown a higher level
    of interest by going through the extra confirmation step.

    With single opt-in, you'll end up with a bigger list, but it
    will also contain more dumb e-mail addresses, e.g. mis-spellings,
    false e-mails (e.g. billgates @ microsoft . com), malicious entries,
    etc. This can lead to more bounces and lower deliverability as
    well as higher spam complaints.

    In fact, most single opt-in lists are delivered from servers that
    have a lower deliverability level. In contrast, e-mails sent from
    double opt-in lists are usually sent from a different server that
    has a higher deliverability rate.

    I know this is the case for companies such as AWeber and
    Infusionsoft.

    Personally, I favor using double opt-in because it future proofs
    my list
    just in case double opt-in subscription becomes mandatory
    in future.

    Remember, that your list is an asset that you'll build over time
    so it's important to protect it now - and long into the future.

    Plus, I sleep well at night knowing that I've got a fully trackable
    subscription path and I can prove that each subscriber has
    confirmed their own e-mail address (even if they can't remember
    doing so).

    This is invaluable when contesting spam complaints. With double
    opt-in, I've got a leg to stand on.

    At the end of the day, it's a personal choice.

    Some people prefer to make hay whilst the sun shines and go
    with single opt-in so they get more sales today. I think that
    that route is not very wise long-term.

    Dedicated to your success,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post


      In fact, most single opt-in lists are delivered from servers that
      have a lower deliverability level. In contrast, e-mails sent from
      double opt-in lists are usually sent from a different server that
      has a higher deliverability rate.

      I know this is the case for companies such as AWeber and
      Infusionsoft.
      Let me understand this, you are saying all else equal (good email address's etc.), if you send out a 100 on a single opt in and double opt in. More people on the double opt in will get it because of the service? or can someone explain this better with Aweber?

      Cheers,
      Mukul
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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        Originally Posted by Mukul Verma View Post

        Let me understand this, you are saying all else equal (good email address's etc.), if you send out a 100 on a single opt in and double opt in. More people on the double opt in will get it because of the service? or can someone explain this better with Aweber?

        Cheers,
        Mukul
        AWeber use different servers to send out single vs double
        opt-in lists.

        The double optin servers have a better reputation and therefore
        higher deliverability when compared with e-mails delivered from
        the single opt-in servers.

        I was told this directly from AWeber customer support.

        Ask them yourself if you want more details or exact percentage
        differences in deliverability between the double versus single
        opt-in servers.

        Dedicated to your success,

        Shaun
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        • Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          The double optin servers have a better reputation and therefore
          higher deliverability when compared with e-mails delivered from
          the single opt-in servers.
          I use single optin and I never get my undeliverable ratios above 2% on my broadcasts.
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        • Profile picture of the author LB
          Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          AWeber use different servers to send out single vs double
          opt-in lists.

          The double optin servers have a better reputation and therefore
          higher deliverability when compared with e-mails delivered from
          the single opt-in servers.

          I was told this directly from AWeber customer support.

          Ask them yourself if you want more details or exact percentage
          differences in deliverability between the double versus single
          opt-in servers.

          Dedicated to your success,

          Shaun
          Even if we were to assume for a moment that a single-optin list was being delivered to say 10% less leads (and that's probably generous) it's still no comparison for the power of single optin. Anywhere from 10% and up of people never confirm, the average is usually around 30-50% in my experience. I'll happily trade 10% loss for 50% more leads.

          Double-optin should only be considered in hostile markets...or if you don't like making money.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
            In my experience, and in my coaching clients experiences, single optin almost always makes more money than double optin.

            I recently did a launch for a client with double optin where we had over 75,000 people optin to a list in a week... and only 40,000 of those leads confirmed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony_Hall
    I'd stick with double opt-in.

    I'd rather have a smaller list of people who actually want to receive information from me rather than a huge list of people that may not have as much of an interest.
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      Originally Posted by Anthony_Hall View Post

      I'd stick with double opt-in.

      I'd rather have a smaller list of people who actually want to receive information from me rather than a huge list of people that may not have as much of an interest.
      This is a common mis-conception.

      Not all single opt-in lists have a chance of being filled with people who "may not have as much of an interest."

      The problem with the single opt-in versus double opt-in debate is the fact that the pro's and con's of each are situation (read: niche) specific.

      There are niches that I wouldn't dare to enter without double opt-in. And there are other niches that would be wasted on a double opt-in list.

      Nobody here can really advise the OP which route to take.

      The only real way to find out is to split test the results with opt-in process as a variable.

      I would rather have a list of people who have a solid interest in what I have to say, but the opt-in process alone very rarely determines what you will get..

      @ The OP: Split test this.

      Drive some good traffic in numbers to your squeeze, and then rotate between single and double opt-in.. essentially you will be building two lists for a short while. But once you have a clear winner, you can focus on that one and start to test all the other elements of your sales funnel with the confidence that you have found your most successful opt-in position.

      Peace

      Jay
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      • Profile picture of the author jimmyab
        Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

        This is a common mis-conception.


        The only real way to find out is to split test the results with opt-in process as a variable.

        I would rather have a list of people who have a solid interest in what I have to say, but the opt-in process alone very rarely determines what you will get..

        @ The OP: Split test this.

        Drive some good traffic in numbers to your squeeze, and then rotate between single and double opt-in.. essentially you will be building two lists for a short while. But once you have a clear winner, you can focus on that one and start to test all the other elements of your sales funnel with the confidence that you have found your most successful opt-in position.

        Peace

        Jay
        Great strategy Jay... and I agree "the opt-in process alone very rarely determines what you will get"

        It is an indication only...

        Split testing as above is the only real way of knowing...
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  • Profile picture of the author AllanJames
    Originally Posted by MChriston View Post

    I'm sure this must have been discussed before... but it's always good to get the latest views.

    So what are the pros and cons for using single or double optin on email?
    • Is double-optin a necessity?
    • Does double-optin hurt conversions?
    • Has anyone ever been warned by their autoresponder provider for Spam when using only single?
    All comments welcome!

    Thanks for thinking about it!

    Michael
    The answer, in my case, to your three questions is Yes, Yes, Yes

    Now I use double only - better to loose a few, than be slapped and compromise the biggest asset in my business. Anyway when people confirm you know they really have some interest in your offer - or they wouldn't confirm
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    While, I'd naturally think that double optin might hurt conversations slightly since it gives the user more time to actually consider it as well they might miss the initial email sent out or it might appear in their inbox.

    However I also think that double optin is a lot saver. I mean I wouldn't want to risk being reported for spam and having my internet connection terminated so I usually prefer to go with double optin.

    I guess it has its pros and cons it all boils down to what you think it best for you. Do you want to take the risk to gain a little more conversations?
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    • Profile picture of the author timelessreader
      I just watched Eben Pagan's Conversion Summit course and he was asked this question.

      He said:

      "Use double opt-in if you don't like making money"

      fyi
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      • Profile picture of the author AllanJames
        Originally Posted by timelessreader View Post

        I just watched an Eben Pagan's Conversion Summit course and he was asked this question.

        He said:

        "Use double opt-in if you don't like making money"

        fyi
        Really?

        Why then is it that I've used double for four years and I'm financially and personally free.

        Maybe there was a context to what he said that you haven't elaborated on?
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        • Profile picture of the author timelessreader
          Originally Posted by AllanJames View Post

          Really?

          Why then is it that I've used double for four years and I'm financially and personally free.

          Maybe there was a context to what he said that you haven't elaborated on?
          There wasn't much context, it was a basic Q&A session. He did elaborate a bit. He said all his tests show that he does better with single-opt in. Deliverability will definitely be lower, but that will be outweighed by the number of people who actually end up on the list.

          Of course you can make money with double; the point was you'd make more with single.

          As always, it's best to test for yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mrs S
    I always go for double opt ins to make sure the person has given a valid email address and wants to be added to the list. I do however use single opt ins for my membership site where someone has paid to be a member.
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  • Profile picture of the author iYingHang
    Originally Posted by MChriston View Post

    I'm sure this must have been discussed before... but it's always good to get the latest views.

    So what are the pros and cons for using single or double optin on email?
    • Is double-optin a necessity?
    • Does double-optin hurt conversions?
    • Has anyone ever been warned by their autoresponder provider for Spam when using only single?
    All comments welcome!

    Thanks for thinking about it!

    Michael

    Double opt in is always the best because it prevent your subs entering fake email addresses.

    Cheers!
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      Originally Posted by iYingHang View Post

      Double opt in is always the best because it prevent your subs entering fake email addresses.

      Cheers!
      :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Folusho Orokunle
    After building an email list of close to 100k, ALL my tests have shown that I make more money with single optin.

    The points made above about it being safer to use single optin may be true, but if you're setting the right expectations when people join your list you won't have any problems.

    I send multiple emails on a daily basis to my single opt in list and my complaint % is very low.

    Just so you know, people complain just as much with double opt in as they do with single. You'll still get the same comments such as: Why am I getting emails from you? etc...

    The numbers don't lie either.

    Let's say you just spend $100 on PPC at 10 cents per click which got you 1000 visitors to your website.

    You got a 20% conversion so you got 200 subscribers.

    With single opt in 150 to 180 of those email addresses are actually valid, so 150 to 180 people get your email.

    With double opt in and the same 150 to 180 valid email addresses the same amount of people get your verification email.

    Here's where the numbers get funny.

    Out of those 150 to 180 people only 60% will click on the verification link. So on the high end you'll get a little over 100 people on your list.

    While on the other hand with single opt in you'll have over 150 people on your list.

    The double opt in argument would make sense if the people that didn't click on your verification link didn't do so because they weren't interested, but you know that's not the case.

    They wouldn't have opted in the first place if they were not interested.

    I recently had a subscriber that was on my list for 2 years, buy a $997 service from me. But he had never bought anything from me before.

    He even admitted that he hadn't been opening my emails for months.

    So would this person have even clicked on the verification email? Maybe, maybe not.

    So in essence you're making your prospect jump through extra hoops to protect yourself supposedly while allowing them to change their mind, be lazy, or have internet A.D.D.

    My test have proven that I make 43% more within 7 days when I use single optin.

    Most huge companies use single optin unless you're subscribing for a membership.

    We're all here to give are opinions and make suggestions, so I'm not gonna tell you to go test it yourself.

    I'm going to say USE single optin, set the right expectations, and mail your subscribers consistently with valuable information, and you'll make more money.

    And remember, if you're spending money on advertising or spending hours promoting your sites, ask yourself would you rather make 20% to 40% more money, or would you rather "feel" like you're protecting yourself by using double opt in?

    The choice is ultimately yours to make. But I can tell you this, after sending out over 1000 emails through my autoresponders ( Aweber, Getresponse) using single optin, my bank account certainly notices the difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author bahnsurf
    Hi,

    It really depends on the niche which means how savvy is your audience. You probably won't want them to look for confirmation email then click on the link then to read whatever you present to them.

    However, some niches I agree with fellow warrior that you may need double opt in to prevent spam. But the decision is still up to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author MassiveMarketer
    Double Opt-in would be the best. It's better that you have a short list of correct email addresses who actually are interested of whatever product or services you are offering than those who give out fake emails or get incorrect ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
    and the clear winner is....being more confused and finding your own answer

    Thanks for the tips
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I usually use single. Never had any problems. My content is
    not obnoxious or spammy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Green
    Banned
    In simple: you can get less opt ins with a double opt in strategy, but the quality of those leads will be much better!
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      Originally Posted by Matt Green View Post

      In simple: you can get less opt ins with a double opt in strategy, but the quality of those leads will be much better!
      This is a common belief. I feel the logic is inaccurate however.

      What is true about double opt-in is you will have a higher percentage
      of email addresses that were deliverable at the time of
      subscription. That's all. It says nothing about the lead's quality
      or ability to buy. A lead is a real person.

      If Donald Trump subscribed to your list would he be eager to go
      confirm to get your stupid ebook?

      No. He probably wouldn't bother or he would forget.

      Yet he has plenty of money to spend so he's a good lead... but he
      probably won't bother to confirm.
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    • Originally Posted by Matt Green View Post

      In simple: you can get less opt ins with a double opt in strategy, but the quality of those leads will be much better!
      That makes NO sense man.

      If a high-quality lead opts into your list, he will STILL be on your list regardless of whether you use single or double optin, right? Plus, with single optin, you might fish some extra prospects that otherwise would fail to click on your confirmation link.

      Using a double opt in is just putting an extra hoop in the middle of the way. Why would you do that?!
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      • Profile picture of the author Folusho Orokunle
        Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

        That makes NO sense man.

        If a high-quality lead opts into your list, he will STILL be on your list regardless of whether you use single or double optin, right? Plus, with single optin, you might fish some extra prospects that otherwise would fail to click on your confirmation link.

        Using a double opt in is just putting an extra hoop in the middle of the way. Why would you do that?!
        Aweber wants you to use double opt in because it helps them. Most people have never tested to see if single opt in make more money.

        You'll definitely make more money if you have a bigger list if you present your subscribers with good messages.

        I don't get it either. This whole thing about your email being on a different server, does that mean you'll make more money?

        Do you know that a lot of the time the verification email doesn't even come to your inbox but goes to your spam?

        I've tested this. How can someone confirm a subscription if the verification email takes 30 minutes to come and it may go to spam?

        I don't know why this happens, but you should test it yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    In my opinion the only benefit on double opt-in is to protect you from malicious attacks. Some people like to do things like get an antispam email list or people who they know will report you and submit them all to your list. Double opt-in protects you. If the site is micro-niche i wouldn't bother with double opt=in, but on anything high profile its a good idea
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    You will never get a true answer to this question. I have fought the fight for single opt in long enough here to realize ... it's not a fight worth fighting .

    Some say double is safer ... prove it . I have very few spam complaints . The few I do have is in the IM niche . The other niches are not a problem whatsoever.

    Some say it is like the law or something . Again show the proof . There has to be a reasonable course of escape . No mention of subscription preference is even mentioned .

    Read it

    The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business
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  • Profile picture of the author anthony2
    I been using single optin for years and never has a problem.

    So it basically up to you and it was mentioned a couple of times

    to just test and see what works for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy Trump
    I use single opt-in. Why make it harder for people to sign up if you dont have to?
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadH
    Another vote here for single optin, here's why:

    1) In our tests we've noticed that even with any fake addresses, we made more money off single optin lists than double. It's simply numbers, more traffic. Those people opted in for a reason, which leads me to point 2...

    2) What is the reason they opted in? Is your content spammy or is it providing value? A double optin lead is not a stronger lead simply because they checked their email right away. It all comes down to the content, the incentive.

    3) Why would you put up more barriers in front of the sales process?

    4) We found this in our early tests; many times the confirmation email, even from a company such as Aweber, ends up in the junk folder.

    5) At the end of the day, those that were going to hit the spam button or unsubscribe, would have done it regardless of if they confirmed or not.

    As IMarketers, we need to get out of the box sometimes. Most people don't check their email as religiously as us, and aren't nearly as savvy as us.
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  • Profile picture of the author abazai.com
    i have an idea to solve this problem....it might be stupid in your view....well what i am thinking is to create a single opt-in and bring the subscribers without fear of loosing by the confirmation.....then in the autoresponder or future emails ask your subs to confirm (may be through another squeeze) their subscriptions inorder to avoid spamming .....what will its benifit infact...well in this way one will be able to manage 2 separate campaigns with some extra potentials of trust....then it depends whether you are going to filter the list or not........
    I think i might failed to deliver my message properly but hope a few of you understand what i am thinking right now
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    • Profile picture of the author ChadH
      Originally Posted by abazai.com View Post

      i have an idea to solve this problem....it might be stupid in your view....well what i am thinking is to create a single opt-in and bring the subscribers without fear of loosing by the confirmation.....then in the autoresponder or future emails ask your subs to confirm (may be through another squeeze) their subscriptions inorder to avoid spamming .....what will its benifit infact...well in this way one will be able to manage 2 separate campaigns with some extra potentials of trust....then it depends whether you are going to filter the list or not........
      I think i might failed to deliver my message properly but hope a few of you understand what i am thinking right now
      Even better is getting them to put you in their address books

      Some people's email clients filter anyone but those in their address books... I read that Yahoo mail was supposed to do that soon (don't quote me on that though).
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  • Profile picture of the author richhaz
    I use single and have not had any problems. I've consulted a niche blogger who is regarded as an industry expert and his double opt-in had nearly a 100% verification rate.
    Why? Because people in his niche want to hear what he has to say.

    Some thoughts:
    1. Are you providing value or just blasting spammy messages to your list? If the latter is true for you, it doesn't matter which you do...you'll still get complaints.
    2. Are you communicating clearly what a prospect should expect from you?
    3. In a month a triple-verified lead could decide that you are a spammer and complain, so my vote is provide value, make money and stay single...
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