What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Opt-in?

Have you ever wondered which one converts better: single opt-in vs double opt-in? Want to learn more about the differences between double opt-in and single opt-in? In this guide, we will explain the difference between single and double opt-in, the pros and cons of each, and instructions on how to configure single opt-in for your email service provider.


Single opt-in vs. double opt-in

The main difference between single and double opt-in is how many times a user must confirm that they want to be added to an email list.

What is single opt-in?

Single opt-in is when a visitor submits their email address one time and is automatically confirmed to your mailing list. There is no need to confirm their sign up. As soon as the visitor signs up, he or she is immediately added to the email list and can begin receiving emails you send.

What is double opt-in?

Double opt-in is when a visitor needs to confirm their email before they are added to your mailing list. This means that when a visitor subscribes through an OptinMonster campaign on your website, they are sent a confirmation email where they must click a button or a link to confirm their desire to be added to the email list. Only after this confirmation is the user officially added to the email list, and they can then begin receiving emails you send.


Pros and Cons of using Single Opt-In

Pros of using single opt-in
  • You can sign up new visitors to your list immediately.
  • Because they are added to your list, you can instantly gratify their desire for your content or newsletters.
  • Unlike double opt-in where a user can forget to confirm their subscription, you don’t have to worry about that when using single opt-in.
Cons of using single opt-in
  • You will get fake emails. If you are offering content immediately upon signup, a user could give a fake email address, so they can get your content.
  • You will get incorrect email addresses. A user may sign up for your list and mistype their email address, thereby giving your email list a false lead and can hurt your email marketing.
  • Based upon GetResponse’s findings, you can have better overall email marketings stats by using double opt-in instead of using single opt-in.

Pros and Cons of using Double Opt-In

Pros of using double opt-in
  • Increased engagement is common because you know that the user really wants to sign up for your email list as they have both signed up initially and confirmed their signup.
  • Protection from spam addresses being added to your list. If a bot or fake email address is entered in the opt-in form, then it will not be added to your list until that email address is confirmed. This means a healthier email list that gives you more accurate statistics.
  • A great way to start drip campaigns for email marketing. For some of your content upgrades, you may want to deliver your content via email. This allows you to get a real email address where you can begin sending emails and hopefully later convert that subscriber into a customer.
Cons of using double opt-in
  • You are creating more steps for users to take to get your content, increasing the risk that the visitor may not complete the signup process. Perhaps they truly sign up but forgot to confirm their email or your confirmation email went into their spam folder.
  • The additional email required to confirm their subscription can increase the perception that your list is spammy. If you send a confirmation email, a welcome email, and the first weekly email for the user, then they can have 3 emails from you in a matter of days! It may seem annoying to see the confirmation email that they have to click on only to be followed by the welcome email a few seconds later.
  • You’re missing out on possible customers. If your business depends on e-commerce, then every lost email address is potentially a lost sale. Only IF they happen to sign up and then confirm at some point in the future, will you be able to begin your email marketing with that visitor.

Which solution works best for you depends on your business plan and marketing strategy. There is no perfect hard and fast rule.

For more details and tips on which you should use, see our article Double Opt-In vs. Single Opt-In: Which Is Better for Conversions?


Opt-in Settings by Email Provider

Updated December 2018

The default opt-in settings vary between email service providers. Furthermore, some allow you to change the opt-in settings without much hassle, while others have more restrictions, and some simply don’t allow changing the opt-in setting at all.

The following guides are available to detail the opt-in options for each native email service provider integration we offer.

NOTE: Some of these require you to use our Custom HTML integration to create a form through your email service provider first, then embed that custom form within your OptinMonster campaign.
  • ActiveCampaign: By default, your ActiveCampaign list will use double opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to single opt-in by following ActiveCampaign’s guide.
  • AWeber: By default, your Aweber list will use double opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to single opt-in by following Aweber’s guide.
  • Campaign Monitor: By default, your Campaign Monitor list will use double opt-in. You can still use our native integration but change your list to single opt-in by following Campaign Monitor’s guide.
  • Constant Contact: By default, your Constant Contact list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration but change your list to double opt-in by following Constant Contact’s guide.
  • ConvertKit: By default, your ConvertKit list will use double opt-in. ConvertKit says it is possible use an integration and change your list to single opt-in, but there currently isn’t any documentation available to show its users how to change between single and double opt-in.
  • Customer.io: By default, your Customer.io list will use single opt-in. Customer.io says it is possible to build your own double opt-in system.
  • Drip: By default, your Drip list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration but change your list to double opt-in by following Drip’s guide.
  • Eloqua: By default, your Eloqua list will use single opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to double opt-in by following Eloqua’s guide.
  • EmailOctopus: By default, your EmailOctopus list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration but change your list to double opt-in by disabling the subscribe automatically setting in the Lead Options.
  • Emma: By default, your Emma list will use single opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to double opt-in by following Emma’s guide.
  • Feedblitz: By default, your Feedblitz list will use double opt-in. Per their website, you cannot use single opt-in with Feedblitz.
  • Feedburner: By default, your Feedburner list will use double opt-in. Per their website, you cannot use single opt-in with Feedburner.
  • GetResponse: By default, your GetResponse list will use double opt-in. You can still use our native integration but change your list to single opt-in by following GetResponse’s guide.
  • HubSpot: By default, your Hubspot list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to double opt-in by following Hubspot’s guide.
  • iContact: By default, your iContact list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to double opt-in by following iContact’s guide.
  • InfusionSoft: By default, your InfusionSoft list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to double opt-in by following InfusionSoft’s guide.
  • iPost: By default, your iPost list will use single opt-in. There is no documentation regarding enabling double opt-in.
  • Klaviyo: By default, your Klaviyo list will use double opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to single opt-in by contacting Klaviyo and then following Klaviyo’s guide.
  • Mad Mimi: By default, your Mad Mimi list will use double opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to single opt-in by following Mad Mimi’s guide.
  • MailChimp: By default, your MailChimp list will use double opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to single opt-in by following our MailChimp single opt-in guide.
  • MailerLite: By default, your MailerLite list will use double opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to single opt-in by following MailerLite’s guide.
  • MailPoet (Wysija): By default, your MailPoet list will use double opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to single opt-in by following MailPoet’s guide.
  • Marketo: By default, your Marketo list will use single opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to double opt-in by following Marketo’s guide.
  • Ontraport: By default, your Ontraport list will use single opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to double opt-in by following Ontraport’s guide.
  • Pardot: By default, your Pardot list will use single opt-in. You can still use our native integration and change your list to double opt-in by following Pardot’s guide.
  • SendInBlue: By default, your SendInBlue list will use single opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to double opt-in by following SenInBlue’s guide.
  • SharpSpring: By default, your SharpSpring list will use single opt-in. You can use our custom HTML integration and change your list to double opt-in by following SharpSpring’s guide.
  • TotalSend: By default, your TotalSend list will use single opt-in. you can still use our native integration and change your list to double opt-in by following TotalSend’s guide.

Looking for more information about expanding your email list? See our article on 16 ways to get more email subscribers in less than 5 minutes.