Dan Newcome, blog

I'm bringing cyber back

How not to write an email opt-out page

with 11 comments

Periodically, I take a hard look at what shows up in my email inbox. Invariably a few emails are sitting there because I either opted in to something unwittingly or perhaps I opted in knowingly but now the emails have worn out their welcome. Either way, it is time for a purge.

This time around I noticed a stark contrast between two opt-out pages that I visited.  Running down through several emails, I hit one from a credit card rewards club. I had been moving along at a nice clip, but upon seeing this page I had to stop and figure out what to do.

What is wrong with this page?

From a visual standpoint, it is not easy to see where the text for one option ends and the other begins. From a content standpoint, the copy is much too verbose. I just want to stop getting emails! Which one gets me there?

Forcing me to stop and think this way might be advantageous to Citigroup in that maybe I will be dissuaded from opting out, or opt to still receive certain emails. However, there may be a better way.

The next opt-out page that I visited was that of Zzounds, an online music retailer.

This page is awesome on a number of levels. In addition to the simple and easy to scan layout, the default action was performed for me. I didn’t have to figure anything out at all to get what I wanted – to stop getting emails. Not only that, I really was thinking “did that actually work?” and the page copy confirms that yes, it was “too easy”. I’m actually not annoyed that they are inviting me back to the list. In fact I’m almost feeling some goodwill here.

An email opt-out page is a point of customer engagement. Someone is expending conscious effort to do something, and from the vendor’s standpoint, that something is a negative event. But any time a customer is engaged is an opportunity to reinforce your identity in their eyes. I don’t have any metrics on the impact of an opt-out page, but this exercise has got me thinking.

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Written by newcome

March 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

11 Responses

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  1. […] How not to write an email opt-out page « Dan Newcome, blog […]

  2. Perhaps zZounds was too easy? Did you opt out by simply clicking a link in your email? What if your spam-checker had followed the links? zZounds should have required a POST request to opt-out.

    Jeremy Stein

    March 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  3. If a spam checker follows links in my email, then it’s a broken spam checker. Think about all the emails that have links in them for people to click to verify something.

    Jason Lotito

    March 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

  4. […] How not to write an email opt-out page « Dan Newcome, blog […]

  5. I think Jeremy got a point. It would be better to change state on a HTTP POST.

    Gorm

    March 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm

  6. […] How not to write an email opt-out page « Dan Newcome, blog […]

  7. […] How not to write an email opt-out page « Dan Newcome, blog […]

  8. […] H&#959w &#1495&#959t t&#959 write &#1072&#1495 email opt-out page « Dan Newcome, blog […]

  9. i think I would have sign up back for zzounds.com with the guilt tugging at my heart strings. Very smart way of utilizing emotional blackmail 😉

    suchanda

    March 23, 2010 at 6:45 am

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