Unsubscribing should be easy!
Let’s face it, email is convenient, but sometimes email marketing sucks. Today’s business buyers are flooded with email they do not want and it seems cannot get rid of.
The problem is, publishers and marketers rely heavily on email. In order to keep their subscriber counts high and continue getting their message out through email, they make unsubscribing an ardous process.
Here are four examples of unsubscribe process that tell your audience you don’t care what they want, as long as they stay on your email list.
1. Forced Email Subscriptions
The Center for Media Research email list, which regularly promotes their $495 research reports (well out of my budget), is a required part of my MediaPost membership. This is the message I get when I click unsubscribe.
Note these highlights:
“Your MediaPost Membership and associated benefits will be terminated.” One of the member benefits listed is “allowing you to comment on any story we publish.”
Yes, if you want to comment at MediaPost, you cannot opt out of these promotional emails.
2. One At A Time
Chain Store Age offers a number of newsletters and email communications. In fact, searching my inbox, it appears that I’m on at least 4 of their lists.
I cannot unsubscribe from multiple lists, instead I’m simply unsubscribed from an unspecified ‘group.’ I will still continue to receive a number of other newsletter from Chain Store Age and I will need to unsubcribe to each one individually.
Just to add a touch of humor, note the postal address in the footer of their email.
3. CAPTCHA Protected Unsubscribe
This one from TMCnet floored me. Really, a CAPTCHA to ensure unsubscribes are not automated? Have you ever heard of a major problem with networks of unsubscribe bots reaking havoc on subscriber files?
Notably, there is no CAPTCHA or similar barrier to signing up for TMC’s newsletters. TMC has made it easier to subscribe than unsubscribe, it should be the other way around.
4. Hidden Unsubscribe
This recent example from Wine Enthusiast stood out. Scolling down to find the unsubscribe link, I just found a blank gray space instead.
You can see the full email, as originally rendered, here.
Yes, email continues to be a core driver for businesses, but do you really want to be emailing people that are trying to get off your email list?
Beyond the potential damage to your email sender reputation from encouraging the use of the Report Spam button, is this how you want to treat the people that once asked to receive your email?
Do you have a favorite unsubscribe worst practice? Share it in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake)!