We are using email and password to login into an app but for the first-time use, there's an OTP verification. If correct code is typed-in, the user can use the app.

A verification link is sent to the email but this is not initially required to use the app (the only requirement is that the OTP code is correct).

Of course, we'd like that the email is correct for sending out notifications, promotions, etc. However, we also don't want to lock-out the user out of the app if they never verify their email as we already use the OTP as the verification method.

So since the user may never verify their email address, what are the normal consequences that should happen should this occur? Should we remind them through the app and just continue sending to the email, as per normal? Should we disable some functionalities? Or just let it be?

  • May be you can show some notification in your app that they need to verify email address. Just the way the instagram does.
    – NB4
    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:44
  • 1
    And OTP means...? Jan 4, 2017 at 14:15
  • 1
    @KenMohnkern It's a One Time Password. Jan 5, 2017 at 2:43

4 Answers 4


You have to balance how much you are interested in having their email confirmed. Until the user confirms the email the consequences could be:

  • Not using the app at all
  • Use only part of the app. Enough to be interesting but hide some features that will make the user want to confirm the email
  • No app features restriction. Probably not relevant for your case, but to list all the options.
  • No special badges. Something like verified user (think of AirBnb), this might or not be relevant in your case.

So depending on the app and your interest in having that email you should do one of those first 3 and possibly combine it with the last point.

It is a good idea to remind the user to update the email from inside the app. Also if you opt for the second point, remind him when he tries to access that hidden functionality.

  • 3
    A possibly pedantic point: if you make some features not available to unverified users, you almost certainly don't want to "hide" those features (so an unverified user doesn't know what they're missing) ... (to some degree) you want to "dangle them in their face" to encourage them to verify.
    – TripeHound
    Jan 16, 2017 at 12:34
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    @TripeHound Not at all pedantic—a valuable point. My experience has taught me that the vast majority of users/customers do not pay very much attention and easily overlook "apparently" obvious things.
    – Bob
    Feb 12, 2017 at 1:38
  • upvoted what about expiry? are we keeping unverified users forever in the database or do we remove them after a month or so?
    – PirateApp
    Jul 8, 2020 at 9:42
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    @PirateApp Thank you, interesting point. What is the cost of having those emails stored? What is the percentage of users that end up confirming after a certain time? Even if it is a low number is it still better to have those users confirm quickly instead going again through the process, and possibly loosing them again? If the decision is to remove the emails after a certain time, before doing so I would suggest to remind the user with an email that the account is waiting for them, so they might end up confirming this time.
    – Alvaro
    Jul 8, 2020 at 21:42

In this case, you can continue to notify the user via app to verify the email address and if its really matters to send the notification or invoice via mail then force a user to verify the email address via popup which will pop out every time when a user opens the app.

Another solution is, to disable particular functionality until user verifies the email address.

You can't send email notification without verification because as you know that email is very official thing so we must first verify that and then proceed to send a notification.


Most of time, users doesn't like sharing email ids if your app isn't worth of it. Also, why do they share ids when they can use the app with just OTP?

Although, I purpose following ideas:

  • Let them sign up first before they use app
  • Lure them to signup to get latest updates/discount etc for first time
  • After the first time use, ask them to complete their profile and validate through email
  • What about showing notification under mobile app?
  • Or make your app worth the dime so that user voluntarily signup(Good UX/fast/clean UI etc will help)

Last but not least, don't annoy user with unnecessary poups.


I would suggest having a screen that asks the user to verify the email id every time they log on to the application with a message that states the need to verify the email id, like "Verification of email id helps recover lost password".

The user might not verify their account via email id's in a fear they will be spammed, so let them know we won't spam them with inappropriate messages and this keeps the user informed that they need to verify their account.

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