Creating a Double Opt-In Email Campaign

doubleoptin mail box

One of the first things every marketing expert knows is the importance of creating an email double opt-in structure where leads can choose to receive emails from you. This protects you as the marketing person from sending a bunch of emails to people who are not interested and mark your message as spam. Get too many emails marked as spam and you have a tough road ahead of you to get a clean email sender again. So, how do you create some way to protect yourself from getting marked as spam?

The answer is to create a double opt-in email list. In simplest terms a double opt-in email list means that those users who subscribe to your emails must first click a link you send them confirming their desire to receive emails from you. Creating a double opt-in email campaign is a common task for a marketing integrator. Below you’ll find the five pieces of a double opt-in email campaign.

1. Create a pending lead list and a confirmed lead list. These are the lists where you will organize your leads. Before they have completed the opt-in process they will be stored on the pending lead list. Eventually these leads will be moved to the confirmed lead list.

Email list for double-opt in


Double opt-in confirmed email list

2. Create a landing page to serve as the opt-in confirmation page. This is the page the user will land on if they click the confirmation link in the initial email you send.

Simple email marketing ladnign page double-opt iin

3. Create a new template email to serve as the opt-in message and include a link to the above landing page. You can either note the ID of the landing page and use in the token {pagelink=ID} as the URL or start typing “{page” in the editor, and a list of landing pages will appear. Click on it and it’ll insert a link for you. This is where you prepare the email you’re going to send to your potential leads. This email will direct them to click a link to confirm their subscription.

Template email marketing automation list opt-in


Opt-in eamil for marketing automation

4. Now create a Campaign form to be used to sign your users up. This is the very first step in the process. Creating this form as a campaign form means you’ll be able to select it as a source when you build your campaign (next step). You can collect whatever details you wish (remember to keep it simple) and be sure you include their email address as one of your fields.

Campaign form for email marketing dobule opt-in

5. Finally build your campaign to tie it all together. You’ll add your form as the source where you are collecting leads, then you’ll build out the email to send to them, and the landing page you want them to land on when they opt-in. Your campaign flow might look something like below:

Campaign structure for double opt-in email

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of a double opt-in email campaign:

The Sign Up (yellow) lead source is simply our form created in step 4. Any lead who submits the form will be automatically added to the campaign.

lead source signup for emails

Add to pending is a “Modify lead’s lists” action that will immediately add the lead to the Pending lead list created in step 1.

Email marketing add lead to list

Send in Opt-in Email is a “Send Email” action selecting the email created in step 3.

Senc email to confirm opt-in to list

Add a “Visits a page” decision and choose the landing page created in step 2 then connect the bottom of the “Send email” action into the top of the “Visits a page” decision.

Double opt-in visits landing page

And finally, add another “Modify lead’s lists” and choose to remove the lead from the Pending and add to the Confirmed list. Connect the bottom green anchor, or the direct action decision path, of the “Visits a page” decision to the top of the newly created “Modify lead’s list” action.

Modify lead lists based on email

Now you have a double opt in campaign. You can base all of the mailings, or other campaigns, on lead’s that belong to the Confirmed list. When a lead signs up, they’ll be added to the Pending list and sent the opt-in email. When they click the link to confirm, they will be removed from the Pending list and added to the Confirmed.

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16 Responses

  1. Rob Gurley says:

    For marketers that market to Canada and Europe, you also need a way to “expire” opt ins after a certain amount of time – asking them to reconfirm their interest near the expiration date. This gives you a timestamped opt-in, and it also serves to keep your email list fresh – so you don’t keep sending emails to someone long after they’ve left a company and had their email address converted into a spam trap

    • dbhurley says:

      Absolutely. This is a great point to keep in mind. There will be local and regional laws you’ll have to also keep in mind when organizing your lists. You’ll want to make sure you adhere to all of these options and build them into your campaign structure.

  2. Demetrio says:

    Good article Alan!

    For Agencies and consultants would be interesting if we could insert some basics campaigns like this in the new accounts, an export/import campaign.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m quite confused about how you continue the lead down the path after this into another campaign.

    For example, I have a 30 day campaign that I want someone to be a part of. They opt in and then get added to Pending. They get the email to confirm their subscription, then they click the link, confirm it and are added to the Confirmed list. How THEN do I get them into the campaign I wanted to send them prior to them needing to confirm their subscription?

  4. Daniel says:

    Just a heads up as i spent a hour faffing with this

    Make sure you are not logged in to Mautic. Mautic doesn’t track logged in admin users. Try to open the link from the email in different browser, incognito tab or log out from Mautic.

  5. Dirk says:

    Strange, I think I set it up as described here. However, now after 4 trials I got 4 times confirmation emails (for the double option), I 4 times clicked the confirmation and received the acknowledgement for it.

    However, I end up with 4 leads still in the pending list. None of them moved to confirmed. Also – statistics from campaign itself are empty. Are there any known bugs? What could I have missed?

  6. Mae says:

    it doesn’t work with mine. I mean, it does but not with the – Visit Page.
    I did everything what the forum says.

    • Alex says:

      Same for me even after visiting the landing page , the contact is not pushed to the confirmed list. In the contact history, the tracking stop at the email opening but no sign of the click to the landing page ? any idea ?

      • Rob says:

        You need to be logged out of mautic.
        I just had the same thing and read the other comments above, then opened the link in the email in another browser and it then moved me to the confirmed segment.

      • Eduardo Medeiros says:

        Of course it doesn’t work: why would it work, since the URL of the link is the same for everyone who tries to subscribe, without anything that would identify that particular person’s actions?

      • Eduardo Medeiros says:

        About my last comment: I had monitored URLs disabled; I enabled it, and it started to work fine. Thank you, awesome Mautic blog!

  7. willame says:

    just a question

    I did some tests and found that when a visitor signs up in the form it automatically is already in the system contacts, do not need a link to confirm.

    if the visitor repents and do not click on the signature confirmation, this is not a way to cheat?

    the visitor can do a campaign to badmouth blog / site

    It has some way to make it mandatory, before going to the system contacts the visitor has to click on a confirmation link.

  8. Holger Theymann (Eigene Homepage erstellen) says:

    Thanks for this comprehensive tutorial 🙂
    By the way: Are there any news about integration of a default double opt-in functionality (with GDPR in mind)

  1. January 25, 2017

    […] we’re stepping away from the way that the Mautic blog describes creating a double opt in. Their suggestion is to use a campaign form and have everything run from the campaign. The only […]

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