How to Set Up Double Opt-In (COI)

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Double opt-in is the gold standard of email permission. Also known as confirmed opt-in or COI, this practice is where a person fills out an opt-in form and is then sent an email and must click a confirmation message before they are added to the mailing list.

Here are some great reasons to use double opt-in:

  • Protects against typos and bots
  • Protects against spamtraps
  • Reduces bounce rates, improves deliverability
  • Required in some regions
  • Increases engagement rates

If you'd like to set up double opt-in with Marketo you can do this with the use of the Marketing Suspended function. Marketing Suspended is a status that is functionally equivalent to Unsubscribe - Marketo will not send these leads marketing emails, but will send them operational emails.

You'll need an opt-in form and a pair of trigger campaigns.

First, set up a trigger campaign such that, when the form is filled out, the flow has a Change Data Value to mark the lead as Marketing Suspended, and then a Send Email step to send an operational email that you will use to confirm their request to join your mailing list.

Your confirmation email should be short and to the point, and make sure to set it as an operational email. We recommend that it is clearly branded, use a simple subject line such as "Confirm Your Request to Join Our Mailing List" or similar, and include a link within to a simple confirmation landing page.

Set a second trigger campaign such that whenever someone clicks the confirmation link to the confirmation landing page, the flow will change data value Marketing Suspended new value is false.

A follow up flow should be set up that if the recipient doesn't activate the link in the confirmation email the address is either deleted or set to Blacklist within the database after a reasonable timeframe, usually 2 weeks.  The Blacklist status will ensure that no email is set to that lead until they have completed the subscription process. This prevents future operational emails from being sent to this email address unintentionally.

That's it!  Now, when someone fills out your opt-in form, they will be set to Marketing Suspended until they click the confirmation link in your operational confirmation email. You'll be well on your way to increasing the quality of leads on your mailing list by implementing this simple process.

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In the above you suggest 'Set a second trigger campaign such that whenever someone clicks the confirmation link to the confirmation landing page'. We are seeing more and more false clicks from security software. in the smart campaign should we get them to submit a pre-filled form to validate? Or is there another way to validate against false clicks?

Sarah Greig​ you could add some utm tags to the confirmation link and then trigger off of "Visited Web Page" with the querystring filter on. It may not catch 100% of false clicks but all of the ones I have seen in our instance have only been "click email" activities and not visited web page.



This is easy to implement if you have a simple set up with few lists and entry points. I've got tonnes! I don't want to have to create this campaign pair for every current list building program or future program. Is there some way to manage this from a single top level program?