If you're building an email list for your business, this is one of the first decisions you need to make early on. Should you use the single opt-in or double opt-in method to collect email addresses?
This is a topic that is highly debatable and you'll find proponents of both methods. Each one has its merits and disadvantages. At the end, it comes down to how you send emails to the subscribers.
If you annoy your subscribers or send them irrelevant content, they will make SPAM complaints whether they joined your list via double opt-in, or single opt-in.
In some cases, the discussion isn't just a matter of opinion but a matter of law. Some countries or jurisdictions require that you collect email addresses properly and with full disclosure to the subscriber. That can be difficult with single opt-in methods.
I want to debunk a myth that permeates this discussion, too, while we are at it. In the U.S., businesses are guided by the CAN-SPAM Rule, and this does not specify that a subscriber has to opt-in. Here is a quick guide for business compliance on using promotional emails. In fact, you can theoretically email anybody you want so long as you follow the actual CAN-SPAM laws. The law doesn't say that the recipient of a marketing or promotional email must have opted in first.
Now that I got that out of the way, I thought I would make a short video talking about what I think it's best and why. Check out the video below and let me know what you think in the comments.
I mentioned some tools in the video so I'll link them here. So if you want to start an email marketing campaign, the three main tools I use are these:
Aweber - hosts my email lists and manages the sending and tracking of emails to my subscribers. Start for free here. Aweber allows single opt-in or double opt-in.
Optinmonster - provides me with opt-in boxes, sliders, and helps me capture people's attention before they decide to leave my blog or websites. Optinmonster doesn't have a free option or trial, but it's worth it if you have a website, doesn't matter if it's WordPress or not. Check it out here to learn more, or look through previous posts I've written about Optinmonster.
Leadpages - allows me to create amazing landing pages that connect to my email lists, they also have SMS opt-in services like leaddigits and it's all around one of my favorite landing page builders. Start for free here.
I recommend all three of these services if you are looking to start your email marketing efforts for your business.