By Heather Fignar
Recently, I've been inundated with mail from a now defunct email box. In addition to all the email newsletters and feeds that I subscribe to, I have had my inbox cluttered with someone else's subscription choices.
In an ideal world, the former owner of the box would have changed all the subscription to a new email address. However, this exercise gave me an in-depth look into hundreds of subscription processes. It wasn't pretty. Here are some general observations on the good, bad and ugly -- not necessarily in that order.
- In more than 90 percent of cases, the landing pages were so non-descript that the organizational affiliation was unclear.
- In particular, Lyris applications displayed a page that says: "Your email address will be removed" and then asks, "Are you sure?" But the page, question, font and Yes button were so bland that I missed them the first couple times and had to repeat the process.
- Some unsubscribe pages were also non-descript, non-personalized forms that required me to enter the email address. Lance Armstrong Foundation was one of the few organizations that had personalized the page with a header. Others had no identifying copy at all.
- Several groups require an account login before allowing me to unsubscribe.
- Some landed me on a page with the organizations header that simply said, "You have been unsubscribed. Thank you." Some provided a more in-depth customized form that allows the subscriber to differentiate between the topic and all organizational emails.
- One of Howard Dean's emails had a sentence that read, "Click here to unsubscribe from this mailing list." But, it wasn't linked.
- FeedBlitz was the only unsubscribe page that readily gave me an option to change my email address without unsubscribing and re-subscribing
***Heather Fignar is a managing partner with NPAdvisors in Warrenton, Va. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The organization's Web site is www.npadvisors.com
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