Single vs. Double Opt-in: Which one is best for your business?

This is a question every business owner looks at – whether they should have a Single or Double Opt-in on their site.  It’s also not an easy question to answer, it really depends on what you feel as a business owner after you weigh the pros and cons.  Before I go into the pros and cons, let’s talk about what each one is.

Single Opt-in is perhaps the easiest, when the user signs up via your webform they don’t have any other step to do like confirming their email address.  As soon as they sign up you can start marketing to them.

Double Opt-in is when the user signs up via your webform but there’s a second step added where they must confirm their email address.

Let’s first talk about the single opt-in.  As I mentioned above, it’s the easiest option and less work for the user.  However, there are some pros and cons:


  • Higher conversation – users can enter their email address and forget it.


  • Easier to get spam email addresses because of bots
  • Incorrect email addresses can cause higher bounce and unopen rates
  • You must make a regular habit of cleaning your list

And now the double opt-in, this might be a little more work, but the pros outweigh the cons:


  • Confirmed email addresses are more engaged and you know these people are interested in what you are offering. It’s a higher quality of lead. Remember, it’s quality over quantity you want)
  • Prevents bots/spam emails
  • Increased “good” email addresses. (How many times have you checked someone’s email address and it was mistyped


  • Conversion drops, many won’t go back and confirm their email address. It’s more work to get on your list.

Based on the above, I do tend to like a double opt-in.  However, I have many clients who choose a single opt-in.  What do you do for your list?




  1. Julie Stobbe on at

    Sometimes there are legalities around this issue. I think in Canada we are suppose to have a double opt in. I hope someone will confirm this for me.

    • admin on at

      CASL is permission based, in other words you need to have permission to send them email. The unsubscribe link must be visible (and working), the subject line must be relevant to the content and your name and business must be identified.

      Using an optin form shows consent from the subscriber when they sign up and if you haven’t mailed in quite a while you’ll likely want to reconfirm consent.

      Here is a link to the CASL info:

  2. I’m pretty sure Julie is correct. Also, some email service providers won’t allow you to import a list if it’s not double opt-in, which may limit your options in the future.

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