For some reason I’m getting some email product newsletter that I don’t want. It’s called “Web Buyer’s Guide Technology Product Update.” Since it appears to be not true spam but what I’d call gray-market — a legit company (Ziff Davis, in this case) that got my email address somehow a long time ago — I figure I have a shot at genuinely unsubscribing.
I click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email. First thing I see is an interstitial ad for EWeek magazine! That’s right, I have to view an ad before I can unsubscribe.
Finally, I get to the unsubscribe page. Only that’s not what it is. It’s a long long list of newsletters that I can now subscribe to! Or, if I can figure out which on the list is the one I’m getting — there are several “Web Buyer’s Guide”s — I can check the box and instead press an unsubscribe button.
But I can’t do that unless I can tell them which of my many email addresses to use. They haven’t kept track of this themselves. And of course now I’m giving them my email address on a page that could well, you know, by accident end up subscribing me to dozens of their newsletters.
There are smart and considerate email marketing companies out there today that know how to do this better.