Flirting With Danger With Single Opt-Ins!

I’ve always used double opt-in for my lists before but have decided to give single opt-in a try. When I first started in internet marketing with my health niche several years ago everyone was saying it was best to use double-opt-in. I signed up with Aweber’s auto-responder service for my list management and they seemed to be insisting on it.

If you don’t know what I am talking about I’ll explain.

When you are building an email marketing list it’s usual to give something away ( lead magnet) on a squeeze page in exchange for people’s email addresses. When a visitor enters his name and email address in the form he “opts-in” to receive your gift and further email messages from you.

The optin can be single or double.

Double opt-in

A double opt-in is where the person giving his email address receives an email from you asking him to confirm that he has in fact given you his details. He has to do this in order to get onto your list and receive the gift that he signed up for.

Now, the problem with this is that quite a few people don’t get or don’t see the confirmation message or have second thoughts and don’t confirm so don’t get onto your list. You have lost them.

I have often missed a confirm message because it did not get to my email inbox within a few minutes of me opting in and I forgot about it and didn’t see it when it did come in because it got buried in a ton of other messages flooding in.

One tip I can give you here is to set up a separate gmail account to use for signing up for free gifts. That way you don’t have to search through a lot of other emails. I find this works really well for me.

Single opt-in

With a single opt-in, once your visitor enters his details into your opt-in form, he is instantly added to your list. He gets his download without having to confirm it was really him who signed up for it.

This sounds infinitely better doesn’t it, so why all the fuss about single and double opt-in?

Dangers of single opt-in

Believe it or not the people leaving their details on your form may be using a false email address just to get the free gift and beat the system. They could be spammers or entering an email address of a friend as a prank.

There is a real danger that they do not realize they have signed up to a list and unsubscribe or complain it’s spam when they start receiving your messages. So, you get more unsubscribes and higher spam complaints using single-opt-in. If you get too many of these your auto-responder service won’t like it. They would very likely ban your list or insist on double opt-in.

Many aggressive internet marketers use single opt-in as they can build a list very quickly. If they get banned they don’t mind too much as they can start building another list quickly enough.

Benefits of double opt-in

Marketers say that you get better subscribers this way. When they take the trouble to confirm you know they want to hear from you. Of course they may just want your free gift and unsubscribe directly afterward but this is where you have to convince them to stay on your list for some more good stuff from you.

So why am I going for single opt-in?

I have recently heard quite a few successful internet marketers whom I respect say that they use single opt-in and that they have never had any problems with spam complaints. Marc Milburn says that it’s probably alright to use single opt-ins when you are just starting out but spam complaints could be more of a problem as your list gets bigger.

I am going to give it a try and see how it compares with my double opt-in efforts so far. I will be posting the results when I have had a chance to see how it works out so come back soon to find out.

Do you use single or double opt-in?  How do you find it?  Please leave your comments.

4 thoughts on “Flirting With Danger With Single Opt-Ins!”

  1. Wow Sandy,

    Your post couldn’t come at a better time.

    Right now I’m setting up my marketing campaign but to be honest I’m going with the double opt-in.

    I actually don’t have a ‘gift’ just yet to give (I’m writing it out) but my strategy to keep them for unsubscribing will be a few tricks I’m willing to share in my blog.

    It’s an idea I just had and I haven’t seen it anywhere, so I’m pretty sure they will stay for good, IF they do like my stuff of course.

    Take care and speak soon!

    1. Hi Sergio, I don’t suppose there will ever be agreement on which is the best method. Experiences of different marketers are different in different markets too. Will watch out for your new idea to keep subscribers.

  2. Hi Sandy

    I’ve gone for single opt-in with GetResponse and had no problems – but then again my list is still small.


    1. Hi Joy,

      I’ve heard that the problems only come when you have a very large list but even then I have heard of marketers who still advise using single optin.
      I hate to see the people I lose with double opt because sometimes the confirmation goes into the spam folder and I think some people have so much email that they simply miss it and people genuinely forget that they have signed up for something. I do it all the time!


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