Definition: A double opt-in is adds an additional step to the email subscription opt-in process, requiring a user to verify their email address and confirm interest. Double opt-ins signify a higher level of user interest, though its effectiveness has been both lauded and disputed by marketers.

Double opt-in vs. single opt-in

Use of the double opt-in is a hotly contested subject among email marketers. Double opt-ins reduce mailing lists by adding another step to subscribing, filtering out passive prospects, bad emails, and spam accounts in the process. One study found that over 23 percent of initial subscribers failed to verify their email during the second opt in, a significant reduction in overall reach from single opt-in campaigns.

Though email marketing is built on acquiring as many prospects as possible, some marketers claim that this increased focus is more effective in the long term because it allocates resources to more qualified prospects and gets rid of bad emails. Conversely, not opting in the second time doesn't necessarily indicate outright disinterest.

When to use double opt-in

Though varying studies purport greater success for either model, there is no clear winner. With various other factors impacting the results — email content, subject lines, brand, and the rest of the drip campaign — the only way to find out what works for your business is to try both. Try testing both methods and keep as many variables steady as possible.

Also consider your immediate goals:

  • For companies who can't afford to miss out on any short-term leads, a single opt-in may be optimal.
  • If you've struggled with a high percentage of hard bounces, double opt-ins can significantly reduce those.

Now that we have understood what is double opt-in and the use-cases where you can use it, let’s list a few tips on how to improve your double opt-in rate.

How to Improve Your Double Opt-in Rate

Email Optimizing

The first step is to optimize your double opt-in email. Normally, marketers make a lot of mistakes in their email marketing when using double opt-in.

Double Opt-in is similar to the sales funnel. Many steps are part of email double opt-in. The steps include the following:

  1. Form submission
  2. Confirmation email
  3. Thank you page
  4. And, finally, Unsubscribe page

Here are some tips to optimize email for better double opt-in.

Step 1: Incentivize email opt-ins

You have to incentivize email opt-ins for your visitor. This will give the visitor an apparent reason why they should complete the whole process. Incentivizing can do the trick as double opt-in requires more effort. Also, people receive hundreds of daily emails in their inbox. You need to give them a proper reason to opt-in. For example, you can offer them discounts, or provide them with a content upgrade. You can also offer them with loyalty programs.

Step 2: Optimizing "Nearly There" page

Once the forms are optimized, now it time to optimize the “Nearly there” page.

Newsletter nearly there page

This is where the actual process of the double opt-in process starts. The above example is what most MailChimp users will use but seasoned marketers tend to use more a robust email marketing solutions. A better plan is to create a fully-customizable web page that showcases your band. Remember, you can use this page to establish your brand in the visitor’s mind further. The UX should be on point and should show the users on which step they are. This will where you also confirm the visitor on the value that they will get.

In short, you should look it the 2nd opportunity to convince your visitors.

Step 3: Confirmation email optimization

The next step is to optimize the confirmation email. The confirmation email should also look professional and convey your brand philosophy. Use the brand color. Also, it is better to use a button rather than a link to confirm. This will make it easier for the user to confirm their email. Links can be confusing and might turn off some users.

However, a plain text format also works for some brands. It is all up to you to choose. Also, make sure you use a clear subject line so that the user has no trouble finding the email.  

Step 4: Thank you page optimization

The last step is to optimize the thank you page. You can opt to use the “nearly there” page design and change the text to reflect that the opt-in is now complete. You can also go for a plain text approach as it will offer users a clutter-free approach.

Apart from the four steps mentioned above, you can also use the following tips to improve your double opt-in rate.

1. Get personal: To get the user’s attention should be your number one priority. To do so, you should use professional photos. You may want to hire a professional photographer to do photos for you. Also, it is not advisable to use stock photos as they are too common and doesn’t add unique value.

2. Landing pages: Convince your users through a compelling landing page. A good landing page can lay down the base for a better opt-in plugin.

3. A strong online presence: People are more inclined to opt-in if you have a strong online presence. You can use the online social media platforms to improve your presence. Visitors that already know about your brand are more likely to opt-in.

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