\u201cI get more subscribers when I use single opt-in.\u201d \u201cMy emails already have an\u00a0unsubscribe link, so why do I still need to confirm when someone signs up\u201d? These are common replies from some email marketers when asked why they forego double opt-in. It\u2019s almost as though they\u2019re happy with what\u00a0single opt-in offers and don\u2019t want to see what else is out there. So is\u00a0double opt-in\u00a0a risk? Not really! It\u2019s actually a great, long-term way of building a healthy mailing list. Given the current global scenario, it only makes sense to discuss a solution for building long-lasting relationships with your audience. Reality Check: What is Double Opt-In? At its most basic level, it\u2019s going one extra step to ensure that your audience really knows what they\u2019re signing up for. Once someone hits the submit/agree button of the signup form, a verification email with the confirmation link is sent to their inbox. Only after clicking the link do they become eligible to receive your marketing emails. The So-called \u201cDownsides\u201d Some feel that double opt-in means: Frustration for the user, because people want the process to involve as few steps as possible Fewer sign-ups, as someone who fails to click on the emailed link is a lost contact However, in reality, these cases are rare. The Benefits of Double Opt-On 1. Increases Email Deliverability With double opt-in, the chances of invalid email addresses being added to your lists are zero. Assuming a user makes a typo (guilty as charged!) while entering their email address in your signup form and clicks submit. They\u2019re not going to receive emails from you at all unless they immediately realize their mistake. In summary: A lead vanishing in a puff of smoke. Now the (error-strewn) email address remains in your system until it is removed. If it\u2019s not removed, it can hurt your chances of reaching the inboxes of your legitimate audience down the road. How? Emails sent to bad addresses return as a\u00a0bounce. If these bounces happen too often, the reputation of your email-sending domain takes a hit. As a consequence, Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail, Yahoo, Zoho Mail think you\u2019re a spammer and send your emails to the spam folder. How does double opt-in solve this problem? Simple! Unless and until someone clicks the confirmation click, their information doesn\u2019t make it to your mailing list. Note: As an aside, your subscribers clicking the confirmation link sends a positive signal to the ESPs, thus increasing your chances of inbox placement in the future. (This is because they\u2019re showing great interest in your ties by opening and engaging with the confirmation email.) 2. Helps to Avoid Spam Traps First off, what\u2019s a spam trap? It\u2019s nothing but a trap set by the ESPs to identify spammers. Now let\u2019s see how double opt-in comes into play in two scenarios. Pure spam trap: The ESPs deliberately create certain duplicate email accounts and circulate them across web pages. More often than not, spammer-programmed web crawlers (spambots in this context) copy those addresses. Why? They want to create bulk email lists so they can either send spam or sell them in the market. In some cases, the ESPs blacklist the domains used to send such emails . Therefore, the story ends there. But if that doesn\u2019t happen, it puts the marketer in the firing line. This is because no one can opt-in using those addresses, so sending emails to them tells ESPs that the sender must either be a spammer or using a purchased list. Double opt-in doesn\u2019t really enter the picture here. You simply avert the whole problem by saying no to purchasing lists. Recycled spam trap: One of the good signs of an email marketer is identifying inactive contacts, segmenting them, and planning a re-engagement strategy. This not only helps you boost your conversion rates, but also helps you avoid hitting the spam traps that exist in the form of inactive IDs. Inactivity could also mean contacts are no longer using their IDs. Such email accounts can be converted into spam traps based on the inactivity period different ESPs define. Even though staying away from manual uploading of lists solves this problem, you might feel there are times when you\u2019re forced to resort to this method. A common example is conducting a trade show and collecting new leads. So how do you prevent collecting dead addresses or addresses that are on the verge of being considered inactive during your next trade show? A QR code is the answer. Most of today\u2019s sign-up forms can be accessed via QR codes. If someone scans the QR code of a (double opt-in) signup form, they have to click the confirmation link to become your contact. This means you collect only active email addresses. 3. Keeps you compliant with the law With email marketing laws like GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and more thoroughly emphasizing the need to obtain consent from your subscribers, double opt-in qualifies as the best possible solution. Needless to say, it also offers protection against spammers who exploit privacy loopholes. I hope this has helped you better understand double opt-in. Stay tuned to this space as we work on debunking\u00a0the next biggest myth\u00a0in email marketing. Republished by permission. Original here.