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Single Opt In or Double Opt In?

More Than Just an Email List

When it comes to email marketing, few things are more important to your success than “the list.” Simply put, an email marketing list is a list of email contacts that you can then send bulk emails to. Companies with bigger and better lists will have the best chances of email marketing success.

Unscrupulous Methods

Email marketing has long been plagued by unscrupulous methods of list building. One of the worst ways that this is done is by “harvesting” email contacts from forums, chat rooms, and websites where users include their email addresses. Paying for contacts from certain web services is another unscrupulous way that companies can build their email marketing lists.


The CAN-SPAM Act is one of the ways in which the United States Government attempted to curb these unscrupulous email collecting activities. It requires companies and marketers to include things such as unsubscribe links, physical addresses, and clear subject headings in their emails. Clear and legitimate “To” and “From” addresses are also required. Not following these rules can lead to prosecution.

Single Opt-In

The single opt-in method is one of the two methods of having subscribers opt-in. It is an agreement where a person subscribes to a newsletter or updates just once but never receives a confirmation email. Furthermore, customers that buy a product from a company legally opt-in to being added to an email list unless they “check” a box that says they do not want to receive such updates. Single opt-in is not solely limited to online purchases however. If you provide your email to a company at their brick and mortar store, they are then legally allowed you to send newsletters and updates to your email.

Double Opt-In

The double opt-in method is the other method of having subscribers opt-in to email newsletters and updates from companies. Most email marketing services prefer this opt-in method over that of the single opt-in. When a subscriber signs up for messages using the double opt-in method, a verification email is sent to them. They then have to open this email and confirm their subscription to the company’s notifications. The reason that this method is the most popular is that it prevents emails from being marked as spam thanks to the double confirmation required by all subscribers.