Unsubscribe This, Buddy!

When I Say Unsubscribe I Mean Immediately, Right Now.

Recently, I’ve been on a tear to try to get to “Inbox Zero” – or at least “Inbox Everything Read That I Need To Read And Everything Filed That I Need To File” – as I mentioned in an earlier post, I used Outlook to sync all my email via IMAP, deleted swath after swath of crap, then synced again to clear everything out. As I went through my email with a vengeance, I also unsubscribed from a number of publications and newsletters that I wasn’t interested in anymore. Email after email, I dutifully clicked “Unsubscribe” and was driven to various places in order of least to most annoying:

  1. Zero click unsubscribe! – you don’t need to do anything else. Yay! If only you were really and truly off the list.
  2. One click “Are You Sure That You Want To Unsubscribe?” Well, duh! Why ELSE would I be on this page…this one is OK too, I guess, but not as awesome as 1
  3. Enter your email address, then click unsubscribe. This one is tricky. You have to make sure that you aren’t just giving them your email for some other thing. If you still use this due to technical limitations, I highly recommend that you rapidly move your process to one of the above
  4. Enter your forgotten login and forgotten password in order to update your subscription preferences. Grr. I’ve got no time to deal with this crap so I usually just forget about those and send them to spam directly. Seriously, if you force people to do this, fix it.

Of course, whenever I do any of the above, I get the invariable:

“Sorry to see you go, we’ll take you off our list in X days”

Why not immediately? It’s 2016, people. When I want to unsubscribe, I want to unsubscribe RIGHT NOW. This instant. Meaning “I don’t want any more of your crap littering my inbox” immediately, not some weird, arbitrary time in the future of YOUR CHOICE.

As I go through these, I’ve seen everything from a few hours to a few weeks! A few WEEKS? Heck, I could get a few guys together and launch a fricken startup in less than a few weeks! It shouldn’t take a few weeks for you to stop crapping in my inbox.

Sure, I get it, marketers. Leave them on the list a few days to weeks so that maybe they will reconsider getting your emails because they are so damn compelling! Do you think I’d be asking to be taken off your list in the first place if I wanted to keep reading it? If you ask me, if you do this, the only thing that your customers will reconsider is buying your products or recommending you at all.

So please, if you do this, tweak your settings so that everyone who wants to unsubscribe can get your name off your list immediately. They will thank you for it.

Maybe even stay subscribed.

PS: Since I wrote this, things are getting even WORSE. Now they tell you that you are removed immediately, but you still get their crap. No choice but to report as spam now. Looks like people like HubSpot and InfusionSoft as basically destroying the whole email industry. Great job, guys.