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What is a Single Opt-in?

In the age of data privacy and user protection, email marketers must take heed of and comply with the regulations set out by governing bodies.

That means that before adding addresses to email lists and sending out marketing content, marketers must gain the appropriate permissions from email users. 

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When it comes to gaining permission to send out email marketing content, there are a couple of routes available. One of those is using a single opt-in.

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What is a single opt-in? Single opt-in (SOI) Vs. double opt-in (DOI) Growth and engagement
List hygiene and deliverability
Summary

What is a single opt-in?

An opt-in is a process in which an email user signs up to receive email content from a specific marketer. It involves entering their email address and agreeing to be included in a marketer’s email list.

A single opt-in is a type of opt-in method in which email users sign up in a single action. In this case, they do not need to confirm outright that they are voluntarily signing up to be part of an organization’s mailing list. 

Single opt-ins typically take place on the organization’s website. Users enter their details into a signup box, click confirm, and, from that point on, begin to receive email communications from the marketer.

The double opt-in exists in contrast to the single opt-in. 

The double opt-in, as the name might suggest, requires the user to take two actions to confirm their subscription. As with the single opt-in, this typically involves filling out a subscription form, which is subsequently followed by a confirmation email sent to the user. 

The user then opens the email and follows the given link, confirming their decision to be placed on the organization’s mailing list.

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Single opt-in (SOI) Vs. double opt-in (DOI)

Both the single opt-in and the double-opt are legitimate subscription methods, and they each have their situational use cases, pros, and cons. We will draw a comparison between the two using two important criteria:

Growth and engagement

One of the primary advantages of single opt-ins is their potential impact on mailing list growth.

Since users face fewer barriers in subscribing, the sign-up process is twice as fast and easy for users compared to a double opt-in. This means that you can rapidly grow your email list to expand your potential sphere of influence in your chosen market.

On the other hand, double opt-ins take longer to complete. This means that users are less likely to complete the subscription process. As a result, growing an organic email list using a double opt-in can be more difficult.

The key differentiator here is penetration: Whether or not the marketing content is achieving a meaningful level of engagement with its target audience.

Though the subscription process might be slower, users who complete the double opt-in process can be considered more likely to engage with your marketing content.

In contrast, single opt-ins grow email lists rapidly but are more likely to draw in email users who are not necessarily interested in what you have to offer.

List hygiene and deliverability

List hygiene and deliverability are two significant considerations for an email marketer given the potential impact they can have on the success of a campaign. SOIs and DOIs diverge here to some extent as well.

As mentioned above, due to the nature of single opt-ins, using one can result in a less refined email list. This means that a significant portion of your subscribers may not be engaged with your content, resulting in them becoming inactive.

The issue here is that when you send marketing content to inactive email users, you run the risk of them reporting you for spam, even though they initially opted in. This means that email list hygiene needs to be a high priority for you. 

Moreover, it necessitates more email list cleaning in general. Since your list wasn’t refined during the subscription process, you will need to commit more time to purging invalid or inactive addresses.

Conversely, the double opt-in does not have this same issue. Because the double opt-in method allows your subscribers to self-curate, you are likely to achieve a higher level of engagement on a per-subscriber basis.

While list hygiene and cleaning are still important considerations when using a double opt-in, the cleaning process generally requires less of a commitment in terms of time and effort. Moreover, because your list is less likely to have inactive or disengaged subscribers, there is a reduced risk of deliverability issues.

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Summary

To sum up, the single opt-in is a useful subscription method, but it’s important to keep its drawbacks in mind before choosing to use it. The best opt-in method for you depends on your objectives as an email marketer.

If you operate in a niche market, are appealing to an engaged and motivated audience, and want to enact a high-precision campaign that prioritizes penetration over coverage, a single opt-in may not be the best option for you.

On the other hand, if you want rapid mailing list growth and the ability to cast a wide net with your marketing content, the raw output and potential of a single opt-in system could serve you well, providing you have a robust engagement strategy and are willing to commit time to list hygiene.

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