Email Marketing: Differences Between Opt-In and Double Opt-In

With all the terms e-mail marketers use and techniques to get their e-mail lists generated, it is sometimes hard to keep everything straight. There are a variety of techniques a marketer can use to have their recipients sign up for their e-mail marketing campaign or news letter. The opt-in and double opt-in are the common ones people reference.

Opt-in subscribers are people who willing submit their e-mail address to your company, which lets you know that they are giving you permission to send them information, special offers etc. When they opt-in and are automatically updated into your data base, then they are considered opt-in or “single opt-in” subscribers.

Double opt-in is when an individual submits their e-mail address to you and then they must also confirm their identity by clicking a link through a confirmation e-mail from the e-mail address they provided. This technique is most widely used when companies start seeing a slew of wrong e-mail addresses.

Besides these two options, there is also an opt-out option that is starting to gain popularity. Because some companies have policies in place where they will only contact their recipients if they have opted-in, they are actually cutting down their contact list dramatically.

For example, “Cisco has email addresses for 45% to 50% of its recipients around the world. Of these, 29% opted in to receive communications. As a result, Cisco can only hope to reach 14% of its recipients by e-mail.”

Cisco, like many other companies, is re-evaluating their email policy to give their recipients an opt-out option instead of the preferred opt-in method. By doing this, companies can reach more of their audience, and still allow recipients to decide if they want to keep receiving e-mails.

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