What percentage of website registrations fail due to failure of user to verify by email?
February 4, 2010 3:16 PM   Subscribe

For a web based social media site with user registration, what would be the expected rate of unverified registrations. Meaning, what percentage of people who register for an account never verify via email? For the sake of the question, assume that there are no bots in play. There is a captcha prior to the initial registration submission. I realize there are a lot of factors in play, but I'm trying to get a broad sense of what "normal" might be. My search Fu failed me at all attempts. Oh magical interwebs...do you have an answer?
posted by Edubya to Technology (8 answers total)
Well, mathowie has answered this question for MetaFilter. It's a datapoint:

The Metafilter membership on April 6, 2008 was stated on the blue as 71008. Today, one week later, it is stated as 71807. That is just about 100 noobs a day. - Growth, posted by Cranberry

mathowie's answer: probably only 40 or 50 paid for their account (just a guess without doing a db query) for the week.
and then: [That's f]or the week, in total. 5-10 a day is normal for completed signups around here. Sometimes when we get big press, a ton of people sign up but only 1-5% pay for the account and once in a while I get an angry email saying it shouldn't cost anything.
posted by carsonb at 3:34 PM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, yeah...assuming there is no paid fees involved for a user to bail out on, I mean just the failure to verify the email address submitted with registration. Money changing hands is another hoop where I would expect a significant drop off.

but thanks, that's totally interesting to add to the equation.
posted by Edubya at 4:06 PM on February 4, 2010

The most similar thing I have access to, a public website with a free signup required to participate (post) shows about 55% of signups actually completed/confirmed their registration and posted something. That's since Jan 1, anyway.

The others, I imagine, either (i) lost interest or forgot before they checked their mail; (ii) had the automatic confirmation message spam-filtered and never saw it; (iii) entered a fake address in the first place, then once they realized a real address was necessary, either (iii/a) gave up or (iii/b) registered again with a real address.

Since they all look the same from the website's perspective, it's tough to break it down accurately without an actual study.
posted by rokusan at 4:14 PM on February 4, 2010

A little Googling for "double opt in rates" (no quotes in search) should give you some additional data points.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 4:19 PM on February 4, 2010

To piggy-back on chesy_a, another search term that might be helpful is "closed-loop authentication," as this process is also known.
posted by ChasFile at 8:54 PM on February 4, 2010

I run a small forum which recently switched from instant registration (no email required) to registration via email - the change made no significant difference at all.

The key metric I would focus on is not the email verification step, but how many people open the register page and leave without filling it in. Thats where you lose the majority of people.
posted by Lanark at 5:14 AM on February 5, 2010

Best answer: We require registration verification for our sites (newspaper websites - example: www.duluthnewstribune.com). I did a quick query of our registration database. We have approximately 720,000 registered users and around 3.2% of the accounts were never verified by the user.
posted by geekchic at 6:48 AM on February 5, 2010

Response by poster: Geekchic, that's exactly the kind of data I'm looking for. If anyone else has that kind of data available, I'd love to see it.

I'm just trying to benchmark what would be expected.

Thanks for the google phrases as well, lots of results but not finding the kind of information above.
posted by Edubya at 9:46 AM on February 5, 2010

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