Double Opt-in Best Practices

Emails should never be sent to people who did not sign up for them — that’s a sure way to get your emails marked as spam, which can eventually tank your domain reputation.

Using double opt-in helps ensure your readers have enthusiastically agreed to receive your messages — and that produces higher engagement, increased deliverability, and better conversion rates. It’s also essential to remaining in compliance with local regulations regarding spam if you have international customers. 

While double opt-in might mean you lose some people who don’t take the extra step of confirming their email address, the benefit to the health of your email list is worth it.  

Double opt-in set-up and best practices

If you have an existing customer base, you don’t need to send them a double opt-in form. Assume they have already opted in, update their unsubscribed attribute to false (if this is not done already), and set up a Sunset Policy to ensure that non-engaged profiles are regularly removed from your list. 

Moving forward, you can use a double opt-in for any new customer joining your email list. You’ll need four elements:

  • Sign-up form 
  • Sign-up confirmation page
  • Confirmation/double opt-in campaign and email 
  • Opt-in confirmation page

Sign-up form 

Any page a potential customer regularly visits could include a sign-up form, such as your homepage, sales pages, and checkout pages. In addition to asking for an email address, consider including fields for other demographic data you could use for personalizing future campaigns, like name and location. 

Sign-up confirmation page 

Once a user completes a sign-up form, the sign-up confirmation page or pop-up needs to make it abundantly clear that further action is required. 

Double opt-in campaign and email

Use the sign-up form on your site to trigger a Campaign in Customer.io. The trigger can be that a person completed the form (event triggered) or a set of conditions that match once a new profile is added to your system (condition/segment triggered). The double opt-in campaign sends a confirmation message immediately. 

Design your opt-in confirmation email to focus recipients’ attention on the one action that you want them to take: click the button to confirm their subscription.

Once a customer clicks the confirmation button, update their unsubscribed attribute to “false”.  Alternatively, you can add a custom attribute “has_confirmed_subscription” to track if a customer has subscribed or not. Check out more details in our recipe here: Double Opt-In

If the customer does not click on the confirmation button in the email, send a reminder within two days. If the customer doesn’t confirm after the second email, it’s best to remove them from your list; that ensures healthy deliverability and engaged customers moving forward.

Here’s an example of how you can set up your double opt-in Campaign in Customer.io: 

Opt-in confirmation page 

Once a customer clicks on the confirm email link, the opt-in confirmation page should clearly acknowledge that they are now subscribed and drive the relationship forward. 

Make the new subscriber feel welcome — whether that’s asking them to complete their user profile, presenting them with a welcome offer or discount, or giving them useful information.

Deepen relationships with double opt-in 

When a customer takes time to both sign up and confirm their interest, they’re giving you a powerful signal that they want what you have to offer. Don’t leave them hanging! 

In fact, you can see this moment as the beginning of lifecycle planning: the first opportunity to lead customers down the path of long-term engagement. Think about what you want them to do next, use your confirmation page to lead them forward, and consider what kind of lifecycle emails will support their journey. 

Setting up double opt-in is fairly straightforward, and the payoff can be tremendous. You’ll wind up with a healthier list and connect to customers with messages they actually want to receive.

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