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Your approach is sound. Since they never completed the opt in step, you cannot email them again about this. It's a shame, but they clearly didn't think it was important enough to receive your messages, so it's best not to bug them again.
It makes sense to delete them after 90 days. I would make sure that you don't delete leads that have had other activity in the past 30 days as they may come back to subscribing.
I would also take this approach to increasing CTR.
- make sure you tell them on the TY page to expect an email that has a final step. You could test different messages here to see which ones increase the email CTR.
- See if your deliverability is good on those messages. If they hit spam, that's not helping.
- Make the email really simple and very clear. Subject lines and other text needs to compel them to finish the process. Things like "Confirm your request to receive X" and a follow up that welcomes people. AB test these.
If you are not getting as many people to double opt in as you would like, you can always "encourage them" to complete the opt in by providing the asset they are requesting in the opt in email and explaining that you would like to send them other great assets on an x basis.