Why some subscribers don’t confirm their opt-in

Deliverability Podcasts

As creators and email marketers, we’ve got a lot of important things keeping us up at night.

From our marketing strategy, the hassle of freelance taxes, and, of course, those subscribers who don’t confirm their double opt-ins. But of all our worries, is an unconfirmed subscriber really something to stress over? After all, what’s “normal” subscriber behavior?

It might be time to rethink how you expect subscribers to engage with your emails. Because subscribers don’t follow the same rules you do, and what feels negative to you may feel normal to them. For example, according to a recent ClickZ study, 20% of subscribers never complete the double opt-in process.

In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa talk about why subscribers don’t confirm their opt-ins, when to know if it’s a real red flag, how to fix your double opt-in dilemma, and why you shouldn’t obsess over it. Because having unconfirmed subscribers doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong — sometimes, it’s just human behavior.

confirm optin

Key Takeaways

  • [03:38] – Subscribers may not confirm their opt-in if the confirmation email is confusing or unclear. Make your confirmation email simple and straightforward.
  • [07:47] – If subscribers don’t confirm the double opt-in, it’s also possible that they never signed up for your list. You may have been a victim of list-bombing.
  • [11:30] – While it sounds like a joke, it’s very possible that subscribers have not checked their inbox and that’s why they have yet to confirm.
  • [16:33] – It’s possible that your confirmation email bounced or went to spam.
  • [22:05] – If the number of unconfirmed subscribers is driving you crazy, it’s ok to remove the double opt-in, but make sure you’re securing your email list in some way.
  • [28:58] – If you’re stressed about unconfirmed double opt-ins, remember, there are better metrics to focus on.


[11:06] – “I would rather see a bunch of unconfirmed subscribers on my list than see a bunch of confirmed ones who are never going to engage in my emails.” ~ @mel_lambert_

[31:44] – “It’s way better to have this small, engaged list that’s protected than to have a huge list where you let in anyone who ends up there, but then a big chunk of them are marking your messages as spam or not opening your messages and your deliverability is tanked and now everyone receives your email in the spam folder. That is a reality we’ve seen happen for people who don’t clean their list and don’t protect their list with double opt-in.” ~ @alyssa_dulin


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Alyssa Dulin

Alyssa is a Deliverability Lead located in Nashville, TN. She loves helping senders reach the inbox of their subscribers. Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys traveling, indoor cycling, and spending time with family.

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