Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Growing "list-less" with e-mail mailing lists

subscribe: v. 1 intr. (often foll by to) arrange to receive a periodical, service or a series of tickets in exchange for payment

unsubscribe: v.intr: remove oneself from a mailing list, esp. computer, etc.

I looked up these two words in the dictionary this morning because I am slowly going mad due to an upsurge in the volume of unsolicited marketing e-mails, newsletters, promotional offers, updates, etc. I receive.

This is not garden-variety SPAM. There are real people and organizations behind these online sales pitches and for some reason, they are labouring under the misconception that I am interested in their particular product or service. I could be, but the fact that they're sending it to me in bulk format with no personalization, tells me that they have not bothered to find out anything about me and are just playing the odds. Just this week I've been encouraged to redeem my frequent flier miles at an exciting new tropical destination, directed to a career website where I will find a fabulous new employee and invited to attend a marketing conference at Disneyworld.

I am a fanatical unsubscriber. If someone takes the time to send me a personal e-mail marketing their services, I will usually always respond but if I am the unwitting recipient of a bulk e-mail, I usually search for the unsubscribe button right away.

But this brings me back to my original point. In order to UN-subscribe from something, would I not need to have SUBscribed in the first place? Any time I am involved in any sort of transaction, via the Internet or snail mail, I fervently request not to receive any kind of follow-up promotional material. I scan the pages for the little box that indicates that I don't want to receive anything. I check it and then, just to be safe, I add a note reiterating my desire to be left alone. I never give personal information at a store check-out and I politely decline offers for those customer cards that entitle me to a free coffee after I buy 12 or some such thing.

But it doesn't work. Through a legal loophole in the privacy laws or flagrant disregard of them, they send me stuff anyway. I am currently receiving e-mail from some organizations from which I have unsubscribed several times. Each time I receive a pleasant follow-up e-mail telling me that while they're sad to see me go, my name will be removed from the list. Alas, no.

What's a girl to do? Any e-mail marketing experts out there who have a recommendation on how I can ebb the flow?

No comments:

Post a Comment