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Journal of LTjake (4001)

Thursday June 17, 2004
08:39 AM

email confirmation

[ #19321 ]

Our current mail server/mailing list software doesn't appear to have any way for people to just sign up (via email or otherwise). However, it can pull a subscriber list from a database.

I was tasked with creating a web-based signup tool. Person X enters their email address, and then they get a confirmation email. They click the confirmation link to finally get accepted in to the system. The confirmation step is a necessary and common practice.

There's also a web-based unsubscribing feature (also, emails sent to the list include a link to unsubscribe directly).

It's really quite slick -- HOWEVER, why is it so damn hard for people to:

  • Enter their email address CORRECTLY
  • Click (or copy and paste) a link in the message

We've ended up with about a 15% fall-through rate. I've turned on Email::Valid's MX checking to help with misspelled domains. But still some confirmations are not being fully realized. We've tested the system from various accounts (work, home, web-based) and we haven't had a problem.

Am I missing something or is it REALLY that hard?

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  • Remember too though that some of your confirmation requests may be filtered and discarded by overaggressive spam filtering, received by unwanted subscribers and received by generally apathetic individuals who find the concept of email confirmation just 'too hard'.

    So yes, from my experience with Bluebottle, I can confirm that sometimes it is really hard to get people to do very simple things.

  • I see a lot of apparent search keywords, lots of and other obviously wrong things, people forgetting the .com extension, hotmail users who can't spell their user names (that comes as no surprise given only obscenely improbable usersnames are available now and people switch them weekly), people who are already subscribed attempting to resubscribe (spam filtering eating their subscription?), and, er, lots of other things I don't remember right now.

    Email is so broken I don't know