Why do I need to validate email addresses during registration/Signup

The beginning of a long lasting relationship between a customer and a business starts with a registration or signup page on the website. In some sense thats the most crucial and important step. Most of the businesses strive to make a balance between gathering enough information at that touch point along with making it as easy as possible for the user. After all one cannot expect the user to spend more than 5 minutes filling out a registration or sign up form.
One field is common on those forms for almost all the websites- the email address for the user. Thats a key piece of information that is required to reach out back to the user. To make sure the user is not spamming, a lot of websites also require the user to validate their email address. This is done by sending a unique code/link to the provided email address. The assumption made is that only the legitimate user will have access to the code/link.

So the question becomes why do I need to validate the email address on the form itself when I can confirm it by sending a email to that email address ?

To answer it better we need to understand the difference between the two first. Email validation on the form itself would tell if the given email address is valid at all in the first place. An email being valid means that there is a valid mail server which would accept the email address. Email verification by sending an email confirms if the recipient of the email is indeed the user who signed up.

To understand it lets consider the following two scenarios:
1. Some rogue user is trying to use spam email addresses – Without email validation we would end up sending an email to the address which does not exists in the first place. Usually sending the email is the second operation, the very first operation is to save that record in the database on server side. With a rogue email address we end up paying three types of penalties

  • We added a database record which is futile, there is no way to tie that record back to user. Essentially we are wasting our disk space
  • Any mail service provider is going to charge you for sending email irrespective of the email being deliverable or undeliverable
  • In most of the cases your domain reputation takes a hit if you try to send email to valid mailboxes but with invalid emails. This means that chances of your emails ending up in spambox are increased

2. Now lets consider another scenario. A genuine user really likes your product and wants to sign up on your website. Accidentally the user fat finger’s their email address. Unfortunately this is something that even spell checkers can’t detect. (Some websites ask the user to enter the email address twice to avoid this). Our genuine user now waits for the verification email to show up in their mailbox so that they can verify the ownership of the email address and continue logging into the website. Unfortunately there is no way out of it. The business lost a real user and the user makes an assumption that the website itself is broken.

Both the above scenarios could be easily handled by using email validation on the form itself. This prevents the spam user from moving forward with form submission and at the same time it gives another chance to the genuine user to correct the email address. Both the scenarios discusses have direct revenue impact, in the first one there is money wasted on sending emails to spam address and storing records on disk which has no use. In the second instance essentially a genuine user was lost cause of a spell mistake with the email address. In a market where we spend lots of money to acquire one customer its totally worth it to spend $0.0025 cents to make sure we do not loose them.

For more information on how to use Weblegit email validation solution with your website please refer to our documentation for Simple integration and/ or using Jquery plugin to have better handle on it.