Enabling double opt-in for newsletters

Double opt-in functionality, also referred to as confirmed opt-in or closed-loop opt-in, adds an additional security layer to the newsletter subscription.

When double opt-in is disabled for a newsletter, anyone may simply submit an email address for subscription, without any steps to ensure that the address actually belongs to that contact. With double opt‑in, new recipients are not immediately activated and do not receive emails. Instead, the system sends an automatic email containing an activation link. After clicking the link, contacts are redirected to a special page and their subscription is confirmed.

The main advantages of double opt-in are:

  • Confirming that the email addresses of recipients actually exist
  • Preventing contacts from being unknowingly subscribed to a newsletter by someone else (either intentionally or by mistake)
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Enabling double opt-in

To configure a newsletter to use double opt-in:

  1. Open the Email marketing application on the Email feeds tab.
  2. Edit () a newsletter.
  3. Switch to the Configuration tab.
  4. Select the Enable double opt-in option in the Double opt-in category.
  5. Set the following properties:

    Property Description
    Double opt-in email template

    Selects the template used for the subscription activation emails that are sent to contacts. You can only select templates of the Double opt-in type.

    The template must contain a subscription confirmation link with a URL generated by the {% EmailFeed.SubscriptionConfirmationUrl %} macro.

    See also: Preparing email templates

    Approval page URL

    Sets the URL of the page where contacts can confirm their subscription to the newsletter. This URL is used by the subscription confirmation link in the Double opt-in template.

    If left empty, the value of the Settings -> On‑line marketing -> Email marketing -> Double opt-in approval page URL setting is used. If the setting value is also empty, approval link sends contacts to a default system page (only works for Portal Engine sites).

    The specified page must provide the required subscription confirmation functionality (on MVC sites developers need to handle the subscription confirmation, on Portal Engine sites the page must contain the Subscription approval web part).

    Send double opt-in confirmation If enabled, the system sends a confirmation email to recipients after they successfully activate their subscription to the newsletter.
  6. Click Save to confirm the changes.

Now any contacts who subscribe to the newsletter will receive an email containing a confirmation link. The link sends them to an approval page that activates the subscription.

Note

Contacts can only approve their subscription during a limited time interval (12 hours by default). If a contact does not activate their subscription within the specified number of hours, the link in the confirmation email expires, and the contact needs to subscribe again.

You can set the length of this time interval for all email campaigns through the Settings -> On‑line marketing -> Email marketing -> Double opt-in interval setting.

Handling subscription approval on MVC sites

For sites built using the MVC development model, the subscription confirmation does not work by default.

Developers need to implement the required functionality as described in Handling newsletter subscriptions on MVC sites.

Creating custom approval pages on Portal Engine sites

By default, contacts are redirected to the system's ~/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/SubscriptionApproval.aspx page when they click the Confirm the subscription link. This system page displays a basic confirmation message and activates the subscription. The identifier of the exact subscription is passed to the page as a parameter in the query string of the URL in the activation link.

If you wish to use a custom subscription activation page:

  1. In the Pages application, create a new page on your website with the required design.
  2. Place the Subscription approval web part onto the page.
  3. Assign the custom approval page to newsletters by entering its URL into:
    • The Approval page URL property of the individual newsletters
    • Globally in the Double opt-in approval page URL website setting in Settings -> On-line marketing -> Email marketing (assigns the page to all newsletters that do not have an approval page specified)

The double opt-in confirmation links now send contacts to your custom page.


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