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Let Me Go!

December 2, 2008  

In a recent blog post, Patrick Byers talks about an email he received from a ski resort announcing the opening dates for each of its mountains. "I don't recall signing up to receive these notifications," he notes, "but I was there last season, and might have provided my email address somewhere to someone." Because of his probable permission, Byers didn't consider the message to be spam. He did, however, visit the website to unsubscribe from further contact. But when he reached what appeared to be the appropriate page, he faced a substantial menu of options, none of which seemed to apply to his situation.

Option 1, Byers reports, was completely irrelevant to the message he received: "Please do not send me summer-related emails. I'm only interested in receiving emails about Winter at [name of the resort]." Beneath this, under the general heading Option 2, were listed six other promotion categories and a confusing comprehensive-looking choice. All had unchecked boxes.

"Did they add me to every email list they have?" he asks. "Is it possible this simply shows I'm not subscribed to any of their lists? Was this actually an opt-in form?" Or, he wondered, could it simply be an opt-out form with a bad design?

"[T]his isn't what I'd expect from [this resort]," Byers says. "They can do better." And if your opt-out form leaves customers scratching their heads like this, so can you.

The Po!nt: Put yourself in their place. When constructing an opt-out page, write from the consumer's point of view, to clarify their options.

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