How Your Email Newsletter Can Lose Friends and Alienate Potential Customers

If breaking up is hard to do, your email newsletter could be hurting your reputation

Has this ever happened to you? You sign up for someone’s f*r*e*e email newsletter, then discover that you don’t like it or don’t have time to read it, and you can’t get off the distribution list?

That happened to me. I get a weekly email newsletter from a well-known online publisher. Except in this case, I don’t even remember signing up to receive his email newsletter.

I think he simply took my email address from a business card that I gave to him at a trade show and added it to his list. I was never asked if I wanted to subscribe to his email newsletter.

Not smart. Possibly illegal.

If this isn’t illegal, it ought to be

Presumably his email newsletter has good information, but I’m not interested in the topic. And the email newsletter has no link for opting out. (Hey, I never opted in!)

Several times now I’ve sent email messages directly to him, asking to be removed from the distribution list for his email newsletter, but they have gone unacknowledged. And so every week I keep getting his annoying email newsletter. It just keeps arriving, unwanted, like S*P*A*M.

Come to think of it, it is S*P*A*M.

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And so every week, the arrival of his email newsletter reinforces my now low opinion of him and his email newsletter marketing competence. How can that be good for his reputation?

Double opt in, double opt out

Make it as easy to unsubscribe from your free email newsletter as it is to subscribe.

And if you use recurring billing for your paid newsletter or membership website, don’t hide the online form that your subscribers need to unsubscribe, change their email address, username, password, account status or credit card information.

It’s simply good customer relations and common sense.


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