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Martyna Witosz

Double opt-in or single opt-in – which one to choose?

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For several years now, there has been an ongoing debate in email marketing: double opt-in or single opt-in. Both methods used in the subscription acceptance process have their advantages and disadvantages. However, the choice between them ultimately depends on you. What is double opt-in, and when is it best to use double consent? We advise!

What is double opt-in?

Double opt-in (DOI) is a method of double confirmation of subscription to your email database. Let’s say a user is on your website and wants to sign up for a newsletter, download an e-book, or create an account. After filling out the form, an email is sent to the user’s address containing a link that needs to be clicked to confirm the subscription. Only then is the user officially added to your contact list.

Benefits of implementing double opt-in

By choosing to implement the double opt-in method:

  1. You will reduce the likelihood of sending spam. The double user verification prevents bots from signing up to your database. This way, you’ll avoid spam traps and increase your sender reputation.
  2. Only recipients who want to receive emails from you will be in your address database. Therefore, the Open Rate of the emails you send will increase, which in turn will also positively affect the deliverability rate of messages.
  3. You don’t have to worry about legal issues – double opt-in is compliant with GDPR requirements.
  4. You will minimize the number of hard bounces (returns where the primary reason the email wasn’t delivered to the recipient is permanent, e.g., the email address doesn’t exist).
  5. You automatically eliminate less active users. A person too lazy to click on an email confirming a subscription is likely not going to respond to your communication in the future.

How to prepare a subscription confirmation email?

Remember how you felt on your first day at a new job? You probably wanted to make the best impression possible. A similar feeling likely accompanied you when you met the friends and family of your significant other. The same principle applies to email marketing. At the start of building a brand-customer relationship, you may feel a slight nervousness. If you make a mistake right off the bat, convincing the recipient of anything later will be a real challenge. The subscription confirmation message is likely the first email they will receive from you. Therefore, it’s essential to present yourself in the best possible light.

  • Clearly and legibly inform the user that after completing the form, they must confirm their email address to receive marketing and commercial messages.
  • Remind the user in the subject of the email about confirming their email address, so they won’t overlook the email.
  • Include a prominent call-to-action button through which the user will confirm the subscription.
  • Create a simple, concise, yet engaging content. Show what the recipient will gain by subscribing to the newsletter: a significant discount, information about the latest events, or perhaps exclusive offers for subscribers?
  • Include a logo in the message, so the recipient immediately recognizes you as the sender.
  • Don’t forget to add information about personal data processing in the footer. You can also place a link to the privacy policy there.

In addition to the subscription confirmation message, consider also creating a thank-you page for signing up to the database. The thank-you page should be displayed every time someone completes the registration process and confirms it in the email. Typically, the CTA linked in the message redirects the user to the thank-you page.

What is single opt-in?

Single opt-in is a one-step method of signing up for a newsletter (e.g., a user visits your website and signs up using a form or a pop-up window). The visitor fills in the required information — usually, this includes their name and email address, and they are immediately added to your recipient database.

Single vs. double opt-in:


In terms of quickly building a mailing list, the single opt-in method performs much better. Often, this additional step discourages less motivated individuals from signing up. So, if you are just starting your mailing list and aim to acquire as many contacts as possible, the single confirmation method is better in this case.


Here, double opt-in is the clear winner. Why? By requiring confirmation, you ensure that only those genuinely interested in subscribing will join. They didn’t fill out the contact form accidentally but are genuinely interested in communicating with you. Thus, the list may be shorter but of higher quality. A case study from Warrior Forum proves this point. It suggests that up to 20% of email addresses obtained using the single opt-in method could be worthless. There’s a high likelihood of typos in the email, fake email addresses, or bot activity.


User convenience leans toward the single opt-in method. With this method, potential recipients only have to agree once by providing their email. The longer the signup process, the more effort required from the user, which doesn’t always positively affect their customer journey.


The double opt-in method is safer for users than the single opt-in. The user can be sure that nobody will impersonate them in any form, ensuring their address doesn’t end up in a company’s database they knew nothing about.

Double opt-in in SARE:

Still unsure what to choose? In SARE, users can decide which method of signing up is more beneficial for them – single opt-in or double opt-in. In this competition, there’s no clear winner. You might need to experiment to see what works best for you.

Start with single opt-in for a month and observe metrics like:

  • Number of subscribers
  • Open Rate (OR)
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate

The next month, test the double opt-in and do the same. If the number of new subscribers doesn’t drop, then it’s worth sticking with double confirmation (those users will have a higher average value!). But, if you notice a significant decline in new watchers, use single opt-in to expand your database.

  • If you can’t afford to lose potential short-term customers, single opt-in is the best choice.
  • If you’re grappling with high hard bounce rates, double opt-in will help reduce this number.

Moreover, as a SARE system user, you can not only create forms on your website or manage your database — we encourage you to take advantage of all the possibilities that email marketing and marketing automation offer.

Need more information about double opt-in subscription confirmation?

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