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Topic: E-Marketing

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Do "confirm Email" Boxes In Sign-up Forms Work?

Posted by GKrehbiel on 250 Points
Has anyone studied whether the quality of email addresses submitted through a web sign-up form gets better when you have an "email address" and a "confirm email address" field (and require them to be the same)?

I know it's common for people to include these on their sign-up forms, but I'm wondering if anyone has tested how much it actually improves the quality of the data.

  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Member
    I can't answer whether the confirm email box helps though I suspect it would help some). But if quality of emails is real important, go to the next step beyond just confirming emails and use a form of email validation. If you have some sort of offer (free white paper, etc.), only give the offer when the email is validated (or as part of the validation process - by emailing the item to them).
  • Posted by GKrehbiel on Author
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I'd like to clarify that I'm not interested in sending a confirmation email because that wouldn't work well with our system.

    What I'd like to know is if anybody has data showing the actual effect of a "confirm email" field on a registration form.

    It might increase the quality of the data submitted, but it might also depress response. Any evidence one way or the other is appreciated.
  • Posted on Member
    Improves accuracy - improves quality
    It's easy to make a typo...hard to slip by a second time with confirm of email

    Confirm email has notified me many times when both didn't match so I knew to fix my entry
  • Posted by steven.alker on Accepted
    Dear Greg

    I’ve never come across any published data to say that it actually improves the ratio of people who fill in a form in over the percentage of people who decide to move on without completing the form.

    There is however internal data from HP and Dell and informal feedback from CRMGuru, IT Business Edge and Technology Evaluation Centres which indicates that for sign-up pages which are a requirement for newsletters, white papers or other user demanded free information, that it does not diminish the sign-up rate to any appreciable extent.

    You must understand that for at least the latter 3, the data is not really scientific, because it is before and after changes to the validation procedure on their websites were introduced, not as a result of a single or double blind market test with a control group, but it looks pretty convincing – you don’t lose people.

    As a means of preventing unintentional incorrect email addresses being entered, the improvements cited has been as high as 41% and as low as 27% but at either end of the range, that is impressive. A further means of improving your sign up validity is to get rid of intentional false email addresses which an easier process than you might think. See
    http://regexadvice.com/blogs/jschoolcraft/archive/2003/11/11/261.aspx for some guidelines on how to check that the email address supplied actually exists.

    Your statement that “I'm not interested in sending a confirmation email because that wouldn't work well with our system” is arse about face and worries me. I realise that your question is about whether asking people to enter their email address twice will put people off, and the answer is no. But if the email address is doubly false, on purpose, it seems worth your while to validate it.

    As CRM consultants, we try never to fit business practice round the software and this seems to be an e-business example of exactly that. OK, you might be changing your software to catch a tiny number of false intentional double incorrect email addresses, which appears to be an exercise which is not worth the candle. But not to do it because it doesn’t suit the existing process is plain wrong and a bit bonkers! What happens if the number of false entries suddenly jumps 1000 folds through malicious practice as has happened in the USA, by a rival employing hundreds of impoverished far eastern workers to falsely complete web registrations in order to screw up a rival’s site? Email validation costs peanuts and it is worth it. It can be done automatically as in the article above and by confirmatory email, which when handled automatically by a half decent CRM package like Maximizer, is maintenance and operationally cost free.

    Best wishes

    Steve Alker
    Unimax Solutions
  • Posted by GKrehbiel on Author
    Steve,

    Thanks for the statistics. That's helpful.

    Our online registration process is for the purchase of a product. Collecting the email address is a good thing, but not crucial. We get pretty decent data now, so the question is how far to go to get better data.

    Adding any sort of confirmation (e.g., we send an email and they have to click on a link to continue the process) may get us better email names, but it's certain to lose us sales (on the well-known principle that any time you add a step you lose people).

    Thanks,

    Greg

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