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The Beginners' Guide to Email Double Opt-In

The Beginners’ Guide to Email Double Opt-In

Email double opt-in, on contrary to single opt-in, is a process that asks the subscribers to confirm their subscriptions via email after they fill out a signup form on your site. Only when the confirmation email is received and the subscribe link or button is clicked, will the subscriber begin to receive newsletters from you.

Since this process requires the subscribers to confirm the subscription twice – in the subscription form and in the confirmation email respectively, it is called double opt-in.

Compared with single opt-in which only comes with a signup form, double opt-in seems to be more complex and may lead to fewer subscribers, but in fact, it is an important method for building an email list that is effective, loyal and well engaged. Besides, it is highly recommended by major ESPs.

In below, we will offer more basic information about double opt-in, analyze its benefits, and show you the ways for applying it on a WordPress site.

How Does Double Opt-In Work?

For a quick collection of readers’ email addresses, many webmasters choose to apply single opt-in. With this method, the subscribers only need to confirm their email addresses in the signup form, and then they are put on the email list. But for double opt-in, extra steps are required.

When readers subscribe to your newsletter with double opt-in, they need to go through altogether fives steps which are shown in below.

  1. Fill out the signup form. In this step, readers enter an email address, sometimes the first name also, and then click the “Subscribe” button.
  2. See the “Thank You” page. When the signup form is filled out, the readers will be redirected to a “Thank You” page on which they are told to check the confirmation email.
  3. Check the inbox for the confirmation email. In the email, there is a link or button that subscribers can click to confirm the subscription. Those who do not take actions to the link/button will not be included in your email list.
  4. See the confirmation page. When the subscribers have confirmed the subscription, they are redirected to a confirmation page which tells that they have successfully signed up.
  5. Receive a welcome email. At last, a welcome email is sent to new subscribers’ inboxes. In this email, you can provide some special offerings or a link to freebies.

How Does Double Opt-In Work

What Are the Benefits of Applying Double Opt-In?

It seems that double opt-in is not as straight-forward as single opt-in, and the extra steps may lead to some readers not subscribing to your newsletter. However, it has still gained its unique edges due to the following natures.

  • Preventing spam subscriptions. Spammers and malicious bots will no longer be able to sign up as the confirmation email will bounce them off. This saves you some resources since most ESPs set limits to the number of emails sent out per month.
  • Reducing spam reports and complaints. Those people who sign up here and there with single opt-in usually forget what they have asked for. So when your newsletter is sent to them, they may mark it as spam. The bad effect of too many spam reports and complaints is that your domain will get blacklisted by ISPs. Double opt-in cannot ensure zero spam report, but it certainly helps in reducing the number.
  • Avoiding mistyping. The typo issues are prevented since the subscription needs to be reconfirmed via email.
  • Helping you focus on the target audience. With double opt-in, the subscribers are those who really want new information and offerings from you, so the engagement and conversions are expected to be higher. This also allows you to tailor an email marketing plan for them more easily.
  • Reducing the number of unsubscriptions. By allowing readers think twice, double opt-in would result in a lower unsubscribe rate.

How to Apply Double Opt-In on Your WordPress Site?

Most WordPress newsletter plugins have included double opt-in as a built-in feature, so if you want to add double opt-in for newsletters, you can simply install a plugin. Below are three of the best options.


Newsletter offers a complete newsletter system for WordPress sites. It supports unlimited subscribers and emails, and allows you to choose between single opt-in and double opt-in. Tracking stats are also available in the admin panel. The plugin is free to use.

Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/newsletter/

Newsletter Plugin

MailPoet Newsletters

It is a popular option for sending newsletters, auto-responders and post notifications. With this plugin, you can easily enable double opt-in, customize the confirmation email and bulk resend it. Besides, the plugin includes a signup widget which can be configured in seconds.

Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wysija-newsletters/

MailPoet Newsletters Plugin

Email Subscribers

Although being a completely free plugin, Email Subscribers comes with powerful features. For example, you can send automated newsletters with the latest posts by using Cron Jobs, and easily make a subscription box with double opt-in enabled. Other features include automatic welcome email, email sending and viewing reports, and post notifications.

Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/email-subscribers/

Email Subscribers Plugin

In fact, in addition to email newsletter, double opt-in is also used for many other purposes in WordPress, such as comment subscription, content unlocking and membership registration. All of these goals can be achieved with the use of plugins, and you can easily find a solution in the plugin directory on WordPress.org.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Very often, you could find her in various WordPress event as invited speakers.