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Email Validation No Longer an Option

My site has been online for nearly three months, and I'm already seeing some new usage trends.  Early on, I asked my user to create their account and validate it by sending them a message to their email addresses.  By clicking a link, the users were able to activate their account and then login into the site.  I've been using this technique, until recently.

From the beginning, I knew that some of the emails sent by my site would be intercepted by anti-spam softwares.  I saw the problem right away with Hotmail, when I created my account and saw all the messages going into the junk folder.  I did a quick fix by specifying to the users to check their spam folder.  But who actually reads these warnings?  Only a few, as I found out.

So I've been investigating a bit more about my site usage to get real statistics.  Two months worth of data and usage pattern were worth a look.  At first, I thought that the percentage of users that would not complete their account activation would be pretty small.  Well I was wrong; 3 out of 4 users do not complete activation!

This is truly a problem, since I'm missing too many potential users.  It's no wonder that YouTube do not use email activation.  As for my site IRateMyDay, I corrected the problem.

I think email validation is no longer an option.  There are just too many anti-spam technologies and too many users that don't really know what's going on.  And after all, what's the point of validating an email that might not work in a few months ahead?