March 1, 2012

Unsubscribing to Emails [Rant]

When you try to unsubscribe to email marketing newsletters and all that crap, you might run into various scenarios. Here are some of those scenarios and their corresponding levels of frustration, ranging from 0 to 10 - 0 being painless, and 10 being Rageguy.

Scenario A
You get the email. You scroll all the way down to the bottom of the newsletter and the word "unsubscribe" jumps out at you instantly. You click the link and it smartly detects your email. Done and good riddance. Total # of clicks = 2 max. Frustration level = 0.

Scenario B
Same as the above except they don't detect your email address and asks you to enter it. Frustration level = 2. C'mon, you should be smart enough to detect my email address since you sent me the email in the first place.

Scenario C
All of the above plus they ask you to uncheck a crap ton of checkboxes that you'd never read anyway. Total # of clicks = 5+. Frustration level = 4.

Notice I'm going in increments of 2 here.

Scenario D
The damn system makes you login to "change your email preferences". Either you login, having to enter your email and password and uncheck crap ton of checkboxes, which means frustration level = 5, OR, you happen to forget your password, in which you have to go through the whole process of requesting a password reset and all that junk and at the end of the process you've wasted 5 minutes of your life, which yields a frustration level of 7.

Scenario E
You see the word "unsubscribe" but it's not hotlinked. Or the link doesn't even work. You login to their site and painstakingly find the email settings. Frustration level = 8.

Scenario F
There is no unsubscribe link or change email settings link. You email them saying you just want to delete your damn account and they don't respond. Frustration level = a big whopping Rageguy. And DIAF.

Oh I've run into Scenario F several times.

If the confirmation message says something to the effect of "we're sorry to see you go, please allow up to 5 business days for us to process this change", then frustration level = x +1. I've had ones that say "allow up to 10 days".  Really? I'm not snail-mailing anything here. I expect insta-unsubscribe. 10 days?? Frustration level = x+2.

Moral of the story: Have two separate email addresses - one for personal correspondances, and one for signing up for online accounts.


  1. Some emails (like gmail) let you add + to it, for example This helps me use the same email (I use gmail for all signup crap) but differentiate who sells out your information to random newsletters. Or just filter your email more effectively coz I do read some marketing stuff.

  2. I thought all emails let you do that, maybe I'm just spoiled by Gmail. Yup doing the + thing is definitely good practice. The thing is, the newsletters I get are usually from sites I register an account for. It's usually opt out for their newsletters.

  3. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Or you can just filter the word "unsubscribe"... And block them. Cake