What is Double Opt-in and How to Use It

Date: 2022-11-24 | Time of reading: 8 minutes (1480 words)

What is Double Opt-in and How to Use It

Email sending issues or inactive addresses in the database are a headache for companies. At best, a business spends resources on email campaigns that go nowhere or do not produce results. At worst, it gets blocked by providers or fined by government regulators for violating mailing rules.

This happens when a company collects a contact list using the Single Opt-in method. The user leaves an email in the form without additional actions, and the company immediately starts sending messages.

Double Opt-in is an alternative option that protects your brand from fines. It helps you collect a high-quality database and increase email open rates. In the post, we will tell you what Double Opt-in is, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the method, and how to set up Double Opt-in in a few steps using Altcraft Platform.

What is Double Opt-in

Double Opt-in is a way to add a user to your email list in two steps.

How Double Opt-in works:

  • The user leaves an email in a signup form on your website.
  • He receives an email with a confirmation link. After clicking on the link, the user is redirected to a page with information about newsletter activation. At this moment, he joins your mailing list.

Unlike Single Opt-in, Double Opt-in has a second step. Single Opt-in requires your site visitor to do one thing — share their emails in the signup form.

If the company chooses Double Opt-in, then the addresses that have not been confirmed by the subscriber are not included in the email list. For example, if the user did not open the email or did not follow the confirmation link.

Why you need Double Opt-in

Email campaigns are regulated by the state and by the providers through which companies send messages. On the one hand, according to GDPR, the brand must keep a record of the user's consent to receive emails. On the other hand, ISPs check senders through spam traps and other methods. If the sender turns out to be a spammer or just suspicious, it will get blocked. It is not easy to prove the opposite and remove restrictions. Double Opt-in reduces the risk of such situations.

Sometimes users make mistakes and leave wrong addresses. In the case of Single Opt-in, the company receives an inactive email or the address of another person who did not subscribe to the newsletter. If a complaint is received, the sender may be fined. If you are dealing with Single Opt-in, it is almost impossible to prove that such email campaigns are legitimate.

Double Opt-in solves the problem of invalid addresses. Only emails that have been confirmed by users get into the database.

Double Opt-in: advantages and disadvantages

Double Opt-in insures the company against mistakes in email newsletters, but the method is not perfect. Here are the pros and cons:

Advantages

  • Collecting a high-quality email list. If there is a required email confirmation, non-existent and wrong addresses will not be included in your mailing list. Also, users who have agreed to receive emails from a company are less likely to mark them as spam.
  • Protection against spam traps. This is a fake email address that no one could use to open an email or opt-in to receive newsletters. ISPs use it to identify spammers so they can block emails from them. If you are dealing with Double Opt-in, unconfirmed emails will not get into your contact list.
  • Increasing email open rates and loyalty. Only interested users are ready to go through two steps of subscription.
  • Better email list hygiene control. In most cases, companies monitor the list of subscribers and remove inactive ones from time to time. With Double Opt-in, there will be less work to do.

Disadvantages

  • Users do not confirm the subscription. They can forget or miss the warning to check their inbox.
  • The email list is collected more slowly, because it is easier and faster to subscribe to the newsletter without confirmation. You should remember that a lot of messages at the beginning of communication can annoy users, and in the case of Double Opt-in, there are at least two messages: a confirmation email and a welcome email.

How to create Double Opt-in

By stretching the subscription process over two steps, you complicate the user's journey, so it's important to keep these two steps simple and quick.

Here are the steps to get an email address and consent to receive newsletters via Double Opt-in:

  • The user enters an email in the form on the company's website.
  • The contact is added to the temporary list.
  • An email with a confirmation link is sent to the user.
  • By clicking on the button or following the link, the user agrees to receive emails.
  • The email address is included in the email list.

You need to simplify the customer journey. It is better to create a short signup form. As for the message that a confirmation email has been sent to the user, make it noticeable. There should be no fluff in the text. Make it clear what actions you expect from the user. Get rid of ads and additional offers in the email. At this stage, your main goal is to obtain consent to the newsletter. Don't forget to thank the subscriber at the end.

How to set up Double Opt-in

This is not difficult. Let's look at how to set up a Double Opt-in using the marketing automation platform Altcraft.

The Double Opt-in feature works when you subscribe a user to a Resource. This is a tool for organizing subscriptions to content in different channels. Resources include a website, a landing page, affiliate registration forms, apps, or a certain type of newsletters (promotional, practical, blog-style, etc). It is important that subscriptions are independent, so if users unsubscribe from one resource, they continue to receive messages from another. For example, the user can unsubscribe from promotional newsletters and continue to receive event newsletters.

In Altcraft Platform, setting up a Double Opt-in takes two steps and a few minutes.

Step 1. Subscription

Add a subscription with the status «Unconfirmed» to the customer’s profile. You can add a subscription to one profile manually or update the status for a bunch of profiles at once.

To subscribe a customer to a resource, open the customer profile and add a subscription on the «Subscriptions» tab. Specify the desired resource and email channel. For the «Status» field, select «Unconfirmed» and save the settings.

Adding a subscription manually in Altcraft

To update a subscription for a group of users, select a database or segment and click "Update profiles" in the context menu.

Check if the audience included in the subscription is correct. Then go to the “What to do with a selection of subscribers?” section. Your option is «Add subscription. Subscription source - Resource». Set up the resource and email channel. Next, set the status to «Unconfirmed» for the subscription and start the update.

Double Opt-in in Altcraft Platform

Step 2. Confirmation

Customers who have not consented to the newsletter will only receive one confirmation email. The link in this email must contain the confirm-link attribute.

<a href="http://confirm_example.com" title="Confirm subscription" confirm-link>Confirm email</a>

You can manually set the attribute or generate a link in the editor. To do this, in the editor toolbar, click on the «Insert link» icon, enter the URL and check the «This is a confirmation link» box.

Confirmation link in Altcraft Platform

Next, you need to launch a campaign using the template with the confirmation link. When setting up the campaign, don't forget to specify the resource you want to confirm your subscription to.

When the recipient clicks on the link in the message, the status will automatically change to «Subscribed». You now have the Double Opt-in working.

Conclusion

Double Opt-in is a two-step way to get an email from a user. First, users leave their email addresses on the company's website in a signup form. Then they confirm the subscription by clicking on the link or button in the email message.

This method is the key to building a database of engaged and interested users. In addition, it does not allow incorrect or inactive addresses to get into your contact list.

It will take longer to collect an email list using Double Opt-in, because some users won't open the email, and others may forget. But in the end, the company will avoid blocking from ISPs and fines for mailing violations.

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Author: Lyudmila Kovalenko

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