How to tell user to wait for the verification email?
When a user registers on our site, we redirect him to a success page telling him the following:
Some users have complained that they didn't receive the email. After some investigation, we found that those users went to their emails expecting to see the verification email immediately after they saw the success message, but the emails could take up to 5 minutes to be delivered.
So, how we can enhance the success page to notify users that they may have to wait about 5 minutes before receiving the email?
After some modifications based on the great answers here, the percentage was still depressing for us (about 30% didn't confirm), so we decided to go for postponing the confirmation step and letting user signin directly after registration (as per the accepted answer here)
Can't you just add a sentence saying: 'The email might take up to 5 minutes to arrive?' Most of these messages also have a 'Also check your spam folder'.
Would it be enough putting this sentence, or it is hard enough reading long sentences? , you know, normal users won't read too many words!
If you're afraid users won't take time to read: "It will take up to 5 minutes to arrive"-- which I think is really not a problem at all -- Then you could also change the green 'v' sign into three loading dots. For example: http://realtime.goldenmilegroup.org.uk/tmx/sites/goldenmile.nsf/dots64.gif -- this way users know they still have to wait for something to happen. Although this could create some other difficulties as well.
Why does it take 5 minutes or so? Is the receiver side causing the delay (gray listing etc.) or are you sending the email with delay? In the latter case, send it more quickly. Optimizing the excuse is less important if the annoyance occurs less often. Since my receiver generally does not delay mails, an email delay will lower my opinion of your website, no matter which phrasing you use.
Tell them messages don't go on a Ferrari. They take time to travel. Also put that in bold.
There are already good answers on optimizing the existing success page. I want to add an alternative.
Skip the success page and log the user in immediately. There are a lot of examples of web applications, which allow access before verifying your email address. The user may browse the content, configure his profile, ... but public content submissions or monetary actions are allowed only after verifying the email address.
+1, this is the correct way. I would add, add a visually noticeable message indicating that e-mail is not verified in every page, with a link to re-send, so people don't forget about it.
But please don't provide any functions which should depend on the proof of owning the mail address. Like Facebook, where an attacker (who is not in control of the address) could see who is e-mail-connected to the real owner of the mail address (at least some years ago, when I tried this out).
As Darkhogg noted you need to show an hint that email still needs verification, therefore the other answers about wording are important too.
I'm totally with your answer. Actually, this feature is in our backlog after some other higher priority features, but unfortunately it will take some time to be implemented in our case (handling all actions the user shouldn't take before verifying his email)
This introduces a whole lot of extra problems, both relating to UX (making sure the user doesn't forget about the email), but also technical.
GitHub is one of those examples - but one that I would argue let's you do _too much_ things without verifying your account.
@Chris after some modifications based on the great answers here, the percentage was still depressing for us (30% didn't confirm), so we decided to go for your answer here because it became a top priority now :)
@AbdelHady: Cool. But be aware that I didn't provide an answer on increasing conversions. They could even decrease with this feature, because users recognize this app isn't what they are looking for, before confirming the account. It would be nice to hear afterwards if it actually helps.