Single vs. Double Opt-In Email List Liability?

  • 1 September 2022
  • 5 replies

Badge +2
  • Contributor II
  • 4 replies

I work for a new ecommerce business just getting off the ground (pre-revenue). We’re a small local shop with a very narrow neighborhood geo footprint. We have a Waitlist in place and are capturing early interest in our lead-up to launch. We have single opt-in running for when a WL subscriber joins our list.

The outside email team I work with is urging me to switch to double opt-in. I realize this is generally best practice for all the standard reasons of list engagement, hygiene, deliverability, etc. The team keeps warning me, however, that if I don’t adopt double opt-in, there’s a real risk that we could get flagged/reported by an angry subscriber and my email provider will shut me down with no recourse. This sounds scary, but I can’t find anything online that corroborates this potential outcome. We’re not a spammy operation and have no intention of bombarding our local subscribers with tons of content and messaging. We’re a local market that plans to send the occasional marketing email and transactional ones when a conversion is made. That’s all. 

Any insight on this risk nuance would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.


Best answer by KatherineB 1 September 2022, 15:23

View original

5 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +22

Hi @Kamy , 


As you mentioned, double opt-in is preferred because your leads are qualified and definitely want to hear from you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use single opt-in. Using single opt-in will grow your list faster, but the leads may be less qualified and you may get some bots in there as well. 


The important thing if you’re using single opt-in is to monitor your deliverability, and if it starts turning down then it may be a good idea to to switch to double opt-in. You’ll also want to make sure you’re cleaning your list regularly.

Check out these resources:

Badge +2

Hi @KatherineB. Thanks for your reply! That makes sense. I’ve been monitoring deliverability, and it’s been quite strong with healthy open rates on the sign-up confirmation email.

Have you ever seen an instance where a business’s email list got suddenly shut down because they used single opt-in and the email platform received a random customer complaint?

Userlevel 6
Badge +22

@Kamy I’ve personally not seen that, and I’ve been with an email agency for 5 years. Even with single opt-in, people are still choosing to opt-into the list, even if they aren’t being asked to confirm. It would be a good idea to make sure that any places where you have a checkbox to opt in (like on a checkout page) start off as unchecked instead of default checked, so people are consciously making the decision to opt-in and not doing it accidentally because they didn’t see the checkmark.

Badge +2

Thank you @KatherineB!

Userlevel 7
Badge +45

@Kamy the only thing I can think of is local laws. I.e. Germany has stricter ruling and requires double opt-in. 

Other than that.. if you're on top of list hygiene, for list growth single opt-in can be a good tactic but you need keep a good eye on this!


Good luck with the business!


Omar Lovert // Polaris Growth // Klaviyo Master Gold Partner