Resources Hub » Knowledge base » What Are Double Opt-In Email Lists?

Double opt-in email lists are lists that add subscribers only after a double opt-in process has occurred. They work like this:

Step One: A user signs up for your email marketing list and receives an email with a link they must click to confirm their subscription.

Step Two: The user clicks on the link in the first email to be added officially to your list. At this point, they’ve opted in twice.

How to measure the effectiveness of double opt-in email lists

Double opt-in email lists can have a positive impact on your email deliverability rate by reducing the number of spam addresses added to your list.

Spam emails dilute the effectiveness of your list. In addition, having your emails consistently marked as spam by a recipient can cause email delivery systems such as Gmail and Yahoo to send your emails to the spam folder automatically.

Algorithms used by mail deliverers like Gmail are busy blocking 10 million malicious or spammy emails every minute, and you don’t want to end up in that pile.

If you want to measure how effective your current email opt-in system is working, you’ll need to know how many spam complaints are being made against you.

To report spam, a user simply clicks the “spam” option when reviewing an email.

At Campaign Monitor, we provide email reports to all our users. These reports allow you to see at-a-glance email marketing statistics, including spam reports. The screenshot below illustrates an example of this report.

Campaign Monitor results page example: part of the "What are Double Opt-in Email Lists?" article

Source: Campaign Monitor

By running reports like this one, you can track the reliability of your opt-ins—and, thus, your email’s deliverability—over time.

You should be running reports with your current email service provider (ESP). If you see a high number of spam complaints, it’s time to deploy a double opt-in email list strategy.

For comparison, the accepted hard bounce rate (another way of saying “spam complaints”) is 2 for every one hundred emails sent, or 2%. If you see rates above this, you’ve got work to do to protect your deliverability.

If your email isn’t getting delivered, then your email marketing campaign can’t get off the ground.

Does it really matter?

If you want an email list that’s targeted and effective, then using a double opt-in system is mandatory. Someone who’s taken the time to opt in to your list—twice—is a high-value prospect.

More importantly, double opt-in email lists reduce the chance of spam complaints against your business.

Increased spam complaints mean a bad sender reputation, decreased list viability, and hindered email deliverability. All of these things can spell disaster for your email marketing campaign and your company’s online reputation.

What now?

Now that you understand how double email opt-in lists can help you secure high-value prospects and increase email deliverability through controlling hard bounce rates, you might want to take a close look at other ways to keep your email lists strong.

Strong email lists filled with prospects who really want to hear from you are the base upon which a solid, high-producing email marketing campaign is built.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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