If you’re embarking on the world of email marketing and are excited about automating your sign up process, Mailchimp is a great tool to use as your welcome email can be delivered as if by magic.

But people often run into frustrations when they are testing their sign ups (make sure you test before you go live with it) has MailChimp doesn’t seem to be delivering the welcome email.

You checked the ‘send final welcome email’ box, right?

send final welcome email

In both places…

Mailchimps welcome email

If this is the case, the chances are that you are feeding subscribers into your list through a third party application such as LeadPages where you are able to by-pass MailChimp’s double opt-in and you are using single opt-ins. Did I lose you with the jargon?

What is single opt-In?

Single opt-In is when a visitor to your site simply submits their email address to a signup form and they are immediately added to your list. There is no need to confirm their sign up.

What’s a double opt-in?

Double opt-in is when someone signs up for a newsletter on your website, and they then need to confirm their subscription, before being added to the list. You’ve probably seen this kind of thing arrive in your inbox when you’ve signed up to receive something which uses a double opt-in.

double opt in

By the way, I realise that time isn’t always on your side, and you just want to get the functionality in place, but you can pretty things up by being a little creative with your page to advise people that you’re using double opt ins. I like this one from Kohl’s.

creative double opt inThere is a lot of discussion about whether you should use double opt-ins or whether single opt-ins are sufficient. That’s really a conversation for another blog post, but here are a few of the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Single Opt-Ins

Why would you choose to use single opt-in?

Pros of using a single opt-in:

  • Visitors are subscribed to your list immediately.
  • This means they instantly receive your welcome content or newsletter without having to take a further step.

So are there any downsides?

Cons of using single opt-in:

  • MailChimp ascertains that you will have better overall Email Marketings Stats by using double opt-in instead of single opt-ins.
  • Some countries require double opt-ins – Germany for example requires double opt-in.

Pros and Cons of using Double Opt-Ins

Why would you choose to use double opt-in?

Pros of using double opt-ins:

  • You know that the user is really committed to the sign up for your email list and this may result in them being a more engaged subscriber (which can only be a good thing.
  • You will have a healthier list as bots and spam email addresses will not be confirmed and so will never end up on your list.

Cons of using double opt-ins:

  • You’re forcing your subscriber to take an additional action when they have already committed to join your list, and there’s a risk that they may not complete the sign up process.
  • Your new subscriber will receive a sudden flurry of emails from you within the first few moments of signing up (a ‘confirm your address’ email, the ‘welcome to the list’ email and possibly the content which you promised them)

So which should you choose? It really depends on your business and how you choose to market your business.

If you’re using a free MailChimp account, you will need to choose double opt-in in order for your welcome email to be delivered.

You can skirt around the double opt-in through delivering your initial content via automation, but this is a paid feature of MailChimp.

In Summary

If you’re wanting to use a single opt in with MailChimp, the only way to ensure that your initial content is delivered, is to upgrade to a paid plan and use the Automation feature.

If you want to remain on the free plan, you’ll need to be sure to use double opt-ins for your subscribers in order for that final welcome email to be sent to them on sign up.


Author: Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington is a WordPress Happiness Specialist on a mission to empower 100 small businesses this year to take control of their own website and online marketing. She has been working to help small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their websites and online visibility since 2003.