Here’s a question to which we kinda already know the answer:
I was asked this when I unsubscribed for an Intuit mailing list I hadn’t signed up for. I did start using QuickBooks online, which I’m mostly liking (despite my insane problems with their payroll service and cancelling it… including having to cancel payroll when I hadn’t signed up for it). But I certainly wouldn’t have opted into any mailing list. Nothing QB wants to tell me is worth an email.
The email was some big scary thing warning me that my Quickbooks needs a tune up. You mean you created a product that doesn’t just keep getting better? I have to stop, call you, and “tune it up”? Or are you just trying to get me to call so you can sell me something?
The whole thing seemed really dirty and not genuine. Thing 1, crappy marketing. Thing 2, I didn’t want your emails.
OK, but how do you FEEL about receiving emails when you didn’t sign up to get emails?
Thanks for asking. Not sure what marketing person insisted that you ask people that, especially once they’re unsubscribing. We can pretty much guess what the UNSUBSCRIBING people think.
What do the people who stay on the mailing list think? Are they just deleting it? Are they happy to get these?
“I am so glad that company I bought from put me on their email mailing list without my opt-in permission to do so,” said no-one ever.
There you go, Quickbooks marketing department. I just saved you a lot of time in running and analysing a survey. Plus all the meetings you’ll then hold about the survey and what to do next.
Ptype has a mailing list just for updates on our Axure training offerings. That means you’ll be among the first people to learn beyond-exciting things such as:
- When we are scheduling live workshops or webinars. We have an upcoming two-day Axure workshop in San Francisco on March 5 and 6. We will soon be announcing one-day prototyping workshops in Los Angeles and Seattle.
- When we are releasing new video courses. We recently launched our first video course on Prototyping With Axure RP, and plan to launch more in 2015.
- When we will be in certain cities. For example, if we’re going to be in Atlanta and you wanted to book live training at your office in Charlotte, you’ll save on some of our travel expenses by scheduling your training around our trip to Atlanta.
We typically only send one email each month, so you will not feel spammed. And we never sell, rent, share, or give your details to any other company or human.
You can also “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. However, email would be the fastest and most direct way to stay in touch, especially considering Facebook doesn’t show page fans all of the page’s posts; you might miss a cool announcement.
Eeek, let’s write this a little better…
If you are checking by default, then just let that say, “Yes, I agree to be added to your mailing list.” People who don’t want that will uncheck.
Unless you were going for confusing.
Once upon a time, I played Words With Friends. For like a day. Zynga grabbed my email address from Facebook and put me on my mailing list. I didn’t opt in. So thing one, that sucks.
Now, I get all kinds of stupid emails about all kinds of games I haven’t played and will never play.
I thought it might go away if I went into Facebook settings and disconnected Words With Friends as an app. That means Zynga can’t connect me to me anymore, right? Not right. They keep emailing me because they have my email address.
When I click the unsubscribe link in the email, I get this:
Ummmmm, I don’t want to log in. And when I click Facebook, it asks for permissions for their app to connect to my Facebook account. Well wait, I don’t want that. I just want off the mailing list.
Isn’t it illegal to not give people an easy way to leave a mailing list, especially one they didn’t sign up for? Zynga sucks it.
And don’t do this to your users. Creating obstacles doesn’t get people to stay. It gets them to hate you more and probably tell friends how much they hate you.
This happened. How? Why? Which part of “unsubscribe me” makes it sound like I want to be on this list for 10 more days?
How is it that your email system doesn’t email who’s on your list when it’s time to send? Does that mean your email list is sending to people who opted out and NOT sending to people who recently joined?
Does it take ten days to get on the list? I don’t know. I didn’t sign up for this list. I was being spammed. But I bet it doesn’t take 10 days to join the list.
Unsubscribes should be immediate. And you should never put someone on a mailing list unless they opted into YOUR list. Buying a list off a friend doesn’t mean those people want to hear from you. They might not even want to hear from your friend.
Download this free whitepaper. It’s never really free, is it. They always want your name and email so they can add you to a mailing list. Sometimes they’re honest about adding you to a mailing list, and sometimes it’s a surprise you get later.
That also seems to assume that wanting to read your whitepaper goes with interest in you or your company. Those may not go together. Sometimes I’m just doing research and your whitepaper looks relevant. I don’t want to be added to a mailing list.
If the whitepaper or report is truly free, let me have it.
I went to read a whitepaper on UX by what seemed to be an expert. But this was the page I was shown. I’ve blurred out names, companies, and other info since I’m not looking to specifically call this person out. But holy cats, this is a UX whitepaper, you are a UX expert, and you’ve decided that people will fill out your form to get the whitepaper.
I filled out the form. Click to enlarge.
Companies put me on their mailing lists all the time without asking. I don’t mean spammers. I mean companies where I went to try them out. Maybe I liked their system and maybe I didn’t, but somehow, without opting in, I’m now on a mailing list.
Many do the right thing and offer a one-click unsubscribe. Click “unsubscribe” in the email, and I’m off the list. Sometimes they ask why I’m leaving. Sometimes it’s just a confirmation that I’m gone.
That’s the right way.
The wrong way would be to take me to your website and ask me to login. I’ve probably already disconnected. I don’t remember my password. Or I went into Facebook and revoked your access to my account. “Logging in with Facebook” is going to ask for that access again… just so I can take it away, and then some. Incredible waste of my time.
What impression do you want to make on me? That you respected my time and lack of interest in being on the mailing list I never joined? Or that you stuck me on a mailing list and then made it hard, annoying, or time consuming for me to leave it?
There’s been a huge outcry about what Facebook is now doing with business/”fan” pages. This blog post covers it excellently.
The short version is that Facebook is purposefully NOT showing all of your business posts to all of your fan base. You can expect maybe 15% or so to actually get your post in their feed. Why? So that Facebook can sell you sponsored posts. As in you can reach 15% of your audience for free. Want to reach the rest of them? Pay up. Want to reach friends of your fans? Pay more. The linked blog post above explains it well. That’s just my summary in case you don’t read that blog post (go read it and then come back!).
Email Mailing Lists Can’t Die Yet
I really thought email mailing lists were dying off. When was the last time you joined one on purpose? When was the list time you unsubscribed from one you never joined, but somehow you were on it? It seemed like I have been doing lots of unsubscribing and NO subscribing. I looked at some of my old mailing list stats, and just figured people reading emails seemed to be a dying thing.
I remember blogging about how many TV commercials had Facebook URLs on them at the end. Major companies though it would be better to reach people through Facebook than through their own websites. Think about that a moment. And now Facebook says, “Thanks for driving traffic to us. We’ll rent you your own fan base.”
What’s My Reaction?
The main biz/fan page I pay attention to nowadays is the one for my startup. I added two custom tabs last week. One shows you our Twitter feed, which has all of our Facebook posts plus all of our tweets (so you can’t miss anything, even if Facebook is hiding it from you). The other custom tab has an interface to sign up for our email mailing list. We’re only sending out about one email a month. But hey, if you are interested in my startup and where it’s going, I don’t want you to miss a Facebook post.
Best to get as many people as possible joining our email mailing list, and secondarily, following on Twitter if they’re into Twitter.
I believe Facebook’s recent desperate measures will backfire. They won’t be able to conduct business that way. Major companies will put the emphasis back on their website, and try less hard on Facebook. Maybe this is the break Twitter needs to surge again.
You want people to join your email mailing list. You want to email them stuff! When you hit Living Social and Groupon, they push to make sure you are on the email mailing list. But both have options to close the popup window demanding your email… so you CAN get away from it.
Here’s a website I hit recently. I was curious what they were about. They made it sound like they were like Stubhub but better. OK, I’d like to see that! Here is the home page (click to enlarge):
Two problems here. One, from what I CAN see on the page, I don’t see what makes this ticket website better than anything else. I’m not won over. I have no idea what goes on here that is so much more special than Stubhub or Ticketmaster. Two, I can’t make that popup window go away. I just can’t. I couldn’t find any close button or message. When I clicked outside of the window, nothing happened. This was it. Give them your email address or not go on.
I chose to not go on. What was behind the window didn’t go away. I didn’t feel like what might be here was so amazing that I had to join without knowing what was going on.
How does a company decide to do that? I think it’s arrogance. Someone imagines either one of two things: 1) Our service is SO amazing that people will sign up without yet knowing what we do or what’s in our inventory. Or 2) people have such little regard for their email addresses that they will sign up for anything (or give a fake email… or sign up and then remove themselves from mailing lists later). Both are arrogant, and seem to not care about the customer’s experience at all.
Are you doing that on your home page? Are you stopping everything the person came to see, learn, or do to try to get them on a mailing list? Well, don’t. If I love your site and find things amazing, I’ll happily add myself to a mailing list to get your deals and specials. But I’ll do that later. I’ll do that once I’ve decided you are worth that commitment.
ScoreBig scored zero. But someone must have told them that. I took that screen shot in June. It’s early September, and I just went back to the website. What wasn’t there? The popup insisting on my email address. They learned their lesson, and you can learn from them.
I don’t know how I ended up on the Schwann’s email mailing list, but this is a screen shot of an email I got. Click to enlarge:
Not sure I need to say much here other than FAIL. I’m not going to read this. Not sure who is. Not sure what this is optimised for.