The raging debate among email marketers is:
Single or double optin?
If you're not familiar with the terms, double optin means that you send each would-be subscriber an extra email when they try to subscribe to your list.
Then the new subscriber has to click a confirmation link in this double optin email before you're actually able to send them messages.
They're saying “yes” twice—hence “double optin.”
It's a little weird the first time you experience it, but people get used to the idea.
Single optin, on the other hand, works the way a normal human would expect. You enter your email address in the form, and you're good to go.
Now if you listen to MailChimp and the other email providers, double optin is WAAAAY better.
As proof, they'll wave around all kinds of charts and graphs showing higher open and click rates for lists that use double optin.
Sounds great, except they're not telling you the whole story.
Here's the problem:
With double optin, anywhere from a third to half of the people who try to subscribe to your list never click the confirmation link.
It's true that in some cases people don't confirm because they don't really want to hear from you.
But often your confirmation email goes to their spam box or the Gmail promotions tab, and they never realize it.
Plus a shocking number of emails just vanish into the ether.
That means there's a huge slice of people who WANT to hear from you—and don't.
The email companies do a great job of spinning this by talking about “higher engagement.”
But the real reason your open and click rates are higher is because your list is smaller.
You're essentially throwing away half your potential customers right out of the gate, and all you're getting in return is some mathematical sleight of hand.
Pretty lousy deal if you ask me.
P.S. Many email providers force you into double optin. That's one of many reasons why I use Drip. Every list I manage in Drip is set to single optin so I know I'm not losing any subscribers.
You can test drive Drip for free here: