Let’s Unsubscribe From It All

by Randy Murray on January 16, 2012

The new year is an excellent time to start weeding out all of those emails that come not from people, but from companies, organizations, and causes. Over the past years as I’ve made purchases or expressed an interest in a topic, I’ve accumulated quite a daily stream of things that I don’t read. Most often I simply delete them. But in the past few weeks I’ve been making a special point to unsubscribe from things I don’t read, don’t want.

And I’m discovering that most companies and others that want to send me email aren’t very good at letting go.

Here’s what I want: I click your unsubscribe link and you display a simple web page that says: “Thank you. You are unsubscribed.”

Instead, what I often see is this:

  • A questionnaire of why I want to unsubscribe.
  • A confirmation request of who I am, including my email address, which they damn well know.
  • A plea to stay.
  • An alternative to unsubscribing.

I do not want to see any delays, like this message that claims that, “Your name will be removed from our lists in 8-10 days/weeks/decades.”

One emailer went so far as to immediately email me again, making sure that I wanted to leave their precious list. This is the rare and unlikely double opt-out. And it made me double hate them.

I know how it works. I’ve been an email marketer. I’ve studied how it works and I know what doesn’t. Here’s some advice to marketers:

  • Just stop it. Don’t ask me if you’re emailing too much, just thank me and stop sending me email.
  • Don’t try and offer me something else. Just stop emailing me.
  • Don’t ask me if I’m sure. Don’t ask me to select from your numerous alternatives. Don’t delay. Send me no more email.
  • Just stop emailing me.

I am getting to the point where I want to stop everyone but people I know and work with from emailing me. I don’t want people calling me on my phone to sell me stuff or inform me of things that they think I should know. My email is rapidly becoming that way. No more newsletters, advertisements, or enticements.

Sing with me and the Chairman of the Board:

Let’s take a powder to Boston for chowder,
Let’s unsubscribe from it all.


Here’s some advice for non marketers emailing groups of people: learn to use BCC. Please DO NOT put a list of email addresses, say to your entire neighborhood or high school reunion group, in the TO: or CC: fields. It’s annoying and an invasion of privacy. If someone sends you such an email and you need to reply, please be sure to remove all of the names from the TO: or CC: fields except for those you are specifically replying to.



The Let’s Unsubscribe From It All by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Harry Hirsch January 17, 2012 at 5:32 am

Or just set up a filter in Gmail deleting everything with “unsubscribe” in it ;-)


Randy Murray January 17, 2012 at 7:06 am

Fun, but a problem if a friend or client (god forbid), should use the word.


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{ 2 trackbacks }

  • “Just stop emailing me.” | Opt Out - Book January 17, 2012
  • ?Unsubscribe January 18, 2012

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