What is double opt-in?

Although not imposed by the legislator, the principle of double opt-in is strongly recommended for building robust databases.

It should be recalled that in the context of B2C communications, opt-in - in other words, the prior consent of the Internet user - must be obtained.
This is most often done through a checkbox in an online registration form. The box must be unchecked by default for the commitment to be explicit. It can be entitled for example "I would like to receive the Tartempion newsletter" or "I agree to receive commercial offers from Bidule".

The simple opt-in, even if it is sufficient to protect you legally, has many technical shortcomings. These deficiencies are addressed by the double opt-in.


The double opt-in

The double opt-in process consists, after filling in the opt-in form, in informing the registered person that he will receive an email inviting him to confirm his registration. The registrant's email address will only be stored in the database if the owner clicks on the confirmation link.

A small diagram to summarize and understand the difference between the two methods:



The advantages of double opt-in

The double opt-in makes it possible to avoid the following risks in particular:

  • Risk of typing errors

By filling in the registration form for your newsletter, the user can make a mistake on a character.

- In the best case, the incorrect address will cause a bounce.
- Worse, your message can end up in the hands of someone who has not asked for anything, and who will therefore be likely to report your message as spam, degrading your reputation.
- Even worse and with a bit of bad luck, you may end up with an address that exists but that corresponds to a spamtrap and that will seriously damage your deliverability.
In any case, it is better to get rid of the wrong addresses as soon as possible. And this is what the double opt-in allows you to do without any doubt.

  • Risk of transcription error

An address can also be collected as an opt-in through a paper form, at the checkout of a store for example when its owner fills in the loyalty card membership form and ticks the box "I agree to receive promotions by email".
The person copying the address into the database is not immune to making a typing error himself. In addition, some writings are not always easy to read, which increases the risk of error.
Sending a confirmation email before inserting the address in the database is therefore also a very wise precaution.


The disadvantages of double opt-in

Actually, there isn't one.

Some will argue that this is an additional step in the registration process, which inevitably results in some losses. It is true, some hesitant people may not finalize their registration because they will have had time to think and give up. And finally, it's a bad thing for a good: from a reputation / deliverability point of view, it's better to use the double opt-in at the risk that someone doesn't confirm their registration, rather than the simple opt-in and that the same person finally regrets his/her choice by reporting your next messages as spam!

Others will tell you: "And what happens if the confirmation email arrives in junk mail?" It's also true, it can happen, but when you think about it, it's the "ideal" time for it to happen. Indeed, just after completing your form, the Internet user is waiting impatiently for your confirmation message (you informed him during the registration process). If he doesn't see it coming, he will naturally look for it in his spam folder, drag it into his inbox and take the opportunity to add your address to his address book, thus avoiding your future newsletters or promotional offers to suffer the same fate !

With the simple opt-in, he doesn't know when your first message will arrive, and there's less chance he'll pick up your message in spam if it has been classified as one.


Final tips and advice

To avoid as much as possible any risk of spam classification of the confirmation email, and to ensure that it remains compliant with the legislation, it must be free of advertising and commercial offers.

In other words, a confirmation email should be used for nothing other than to confirm the subscription to your newsletter.

You must keep the date and time of confirmation, as well as the IP address of the Internet user who initiated the confirmation. Thus, in the event of a complaint, you will have at your disposal all the elements necessary to prove that the recipient has accepted to receive your emails.



Double opt-in is THE ultimate collection method for building high quality files that will bring maximum success to your campaigns.

The double opt-in can also be applied on existing bases.
If you have slightly old files, built on the simple opt-in method, and you are looking to improve them, you can consider a so-called re-confirmation campaign. The idea is to send an email to the people registered in your newsletter who appear as non-reactive in your tracking statistics, in order to ask them to confirm their subscription.

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