Single Opt-in or Double Opt-in….That Is The Question When It Comes To List Building
This might seem like a basic question but it’s something that everyone that creates a subscriber list has to answer at some point. In many cases, people tend to just do what they are told by someone that they think knows what they are talking about. Here are some of the reasons to go with single or double opt-ins. It may help you decide what is best for you.
- Single opt-in is just that. It makes it easier for a person to subscribe to whatever you are offering. By filling in their email address and whatever other information you ask for, they are accepting that you can send them emails.
- The main advantage of this is that it is easy for a potential subscriber to get on your list. This low barrier of entry means you are likely to build your list faster than using the double opt-in method.
But it’s not all good.
Disadvantages of Single opt-in
- Single opt-ins may attract people that are not really interested in being on your list. They may just want the free offer that you are using to entice people to sign up. Consequently they will use a throwaway email id or simply make one up.
They have no intention of becoming a subscriber, which kind of defeats the purpose of creating your list.
- Also, if they don’t have to confirm that they are opting in, they may forget that they signed up with you. The next time you send an email to them, they may wonder who you are and either unsubscribe or, worse still, complain that you are spamming them.
Even though you aren’t spamming them, you don’t really want the spend time convincing your internet service provider that you aren’t a spammer.
Advantages of Double Opt-in
- Conversely, using a double opt-in approach, where the potential subscriber is sent an email asking him/her to confirm that they want to be on your list, is likely to get you round this problem. If they make a conscious decision to join then they will probably remember you the next time one of your emails lands in their inbox.
You can also make this even more obvious by having a consistent tag line prefixing any email title you send out. You could also mention that you are going to do this and that they should whitelist any emails like this. You can set expectations about what they will receive which also conditions them and reduces potential complaints.
- Double opt-ins also get round the freebie seekers using throwaway email ids. As they have to go into the email account and click on the link to get the free offer you are giving away, it proves that the email account is valid. And the action of clicking denotes some kind of acceptance that they are happy to become a subscriber.
Of course most people have throwaway email ids so it doesn’t completely get round the problem but it’s the best option.
Disadvantages of Double Opt-in
- The disadvantage of double opt-in is that you may lose someone along the way to being fully subscribed. Figures vary depending on the offer or the attractiveness of being on the list, but some people claim up to 30% of people fall by the wayside because they have to double opt-in.
It could be claimed that these people aren’t worth being on your list in the first place anyway.
Which Approach Is Best ?
This ultimately depends on how you are getting leads to your opt-in offer and what you want to do with them.
In a perfect world, you want to develop a strong relationship with your subscriber base. This will lead to a more robust and longer lasting business.
In this case you would probably go for a double opt-in for the reasons listed above. You want a quality list of subscribers to match the top notch service you will be providing.
However, there are situations where you may not be interested in developing a long term relationship.
For instance, you may be trying to sell a one off product without any back end to it. Maybe an ebook that solves a desperate but very specific problem a person may have.
The extent of the relationship could be a 7 part series of emails that push the product. You may even give away a free report that has an affiliate link in it for the product.
So the purpose of the relationship might be
a) to get them to read the report and click an offer you make in the report
b) to read the 7 emails and click an offer that is made during the communication
Again, this is probably a short sighted approach, but if you having no time or intention to do anything else with the list, then a single opt in is fine.
Like most things, testing is the only way to can ultimately be sure which way is best for you or the list you are building.