Why I’m (STILL) an Advocate For Single Opt-In

Are you REALLY sure?
In a blog post I wrote over 16 months ago, I argued that when it comes to collecting email addresses, single opt-in was THE answer.

While many folks agreed with my take, some did not.

In fact, one person was “disappointed that someone with [my] experience in the email world would take this side.” It turns out he was not in favor of what I wrote. It just so happens he owns Aweber. Oops.

While we had a nice discussion in the comments, my viewpoint has not changed. Not at all.

I still believe that – in most cases – employing a double opt-in process is a terrible idea.

Chad White, author of Email Marketing Rules: How to Wear a White Hat, Shoot Straight, and Win Hearts and Principal of Marketing Research at ExactTarget, recently published the Email Opt-In Audit Imperative Infographic:


Read full blog post and see Infographic over on the ExactTarget blog

In this ExactTarget research study, they tested the homepage signup process of “more than 160 B2C brands, including retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, travel and hospitality, and nonprofits.” To be clear, this research was focused on the B2C space … though I’d argue it applies to B2B as well.

The stat that jumped out at me?

This one.

Opt-in breakdowns and delays were 81% more common among brands that used a confirmed opt-in process, where consumers confirm their subscription by clicking on a link in an email sent to them.


Need I say more?

What do you think now? Am I still crazy for dismissing double/confirmed opt-in? Honestly, I’d love to hear from those folks who are advocates for double/confirmed opt-in. Talk to me.

DJ Waldow
Waldow Social

P.S. Have you heard the news? Nick Westergaard and I have started a weekly podcast called The Work Talk Show, where we interview crazy-smart folks about how work gets done. Give the latest episode a listen!

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Of note is that it takes considerable experience to accurately identify which situations call for COI, and which situations produce clean SOI data. 

I don't think either COI or SOI should be judged based on marketers/email programs who may have chosen the wrong permission practice for their situation -  nor would we judge a race car based on its unsuitability for going on road trips with friends, or a large luxury sedan for its slow lap times around the racetrack. 

It's about using the right tool for the situation, more than either method being inherently better or worse. 


In most european countries SOI is against the law and even COI has been challenged in court. So there is no other way then doing DOI.


@lockhead883 Interesting. How do you define the difference between DOI and COI?



COI == welcome mail without ads -> with opt out link

DOI == welcome mail without ads -> with opt in link