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I'm wondering how to structure our signup process.

We really need email verification, so the idea is that instead of having the classic 'register then verify' process, we ask for the email first, and if the email is verified then ask for the username / password.

That's the 'request invite' process.

My concern is that the term 'request invite' might turn off some potential users as they wouldn't give their email to a service they're not sure they can get into. Is that a potential issue?

What is better, a traditional process of register with username/password, then get a gimped service where you are constantly harassed to verify, or ask for the email first, and only after verification are they allowed to register and use the service.

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What's the service behind that login? Is it possible to ask for username, password and email during the signup process and then let the user do some stuff on your site for, let's say 1 hour. After that period they must either click the double opt in link to verify the address or the login won't work any longer. Can you divide the actions on your site into "needs verification" and "can even be done without"? –  Michael Jun 18 '12 at 6:49
    
The fewer things to be filled in before entering, the more users will try out the system. To start exploring, what is really needed more than email and pw? –  JOG Jun 18 '12 at 8:58
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2 Answers

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Your concern is that the label "Request Invite" might deter users from signing up... not the actual functionality of Request Invite. Keep the improved functionality of Request Invite, with a more appropriate label. "Sign Up", would more accurately describe the action the user intends to take. This will eliminate confusion for the user, increase conversion rate, and ensure all emails are verified.

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The call is for you to take. If user cannot use any functionality without registration (with email id), you have no other option.

If as Micheal said you can offer say a guest login for some time, they can use you site and login when needed. Similar to stack exchange where you are asked to login if you want to ask or answer a question. However are free to browse the questions without a login.

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