After reading on Campaign Monitor’s Observations & Answers blog that 61% of senders use single opt-in subscriber lists and then seeing in their conclusion that both approaches (single and double opt-in) are valid, I was confused.
I thought double opt-in was considered the “best practice” for email marketing. In fact, I explicitly recommend it in this ancient presentation I gave to the New York Web Standards Meetup in 2009:
Have things changed?
There’s an interesting post from 2011 on MailChimp that looks at double opt-in vs. single opt-in stats. The stats as presented seem to favor double opt-in, but Ben Carlson brings up a really good point in the comments: “
If I can get 5,000 double opt-in subscribers where 1500 of them open (30%), that might not be as useful to me as getting 10,000 single opt-in subscribers where I get 1700 opens (17%).”
While the publication date isn’t clear to me (boo!), Jason Leister writes that double opt-in is crazy. He takes issue with the concept that it’s a “best practice” by listing and then attacking the supposed benefits of double opt-in.
Personally, I don’t mind double opt-in. I always have my email client open, and I immediately look for and confirm my subscription. Then again, as a web developer I’m probably not the “typical” user (whatever that means).