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Friday, March 13, 2009

A Rant Against Email Newsletters and Making It Easier to Manage Subscriptions

Intecom Plant Nursery Email Newsletter
Example originally uploaded by mckeanbarry.

This is a rant. I'll keep it short and to the point, but be warned. It's a rant and it's against email newsletters and how they allow you to manage your subscription.

[Note: this NO reflection on the image here. I really like how visual a statement it makes, and I'm willing to bet that it makes subscription management easy.]

You see, I'm having to modify many of my email subscriptions to reflect a new email address [yes, my life is changing; blogpost about that soon]. I'm actually astounded at how many - especially since I use RSS feeds - but they all matter and I need to reassign them.

Guess what I've discovered?

It's really easy to unsubscribe. But, it's really, really difficult to change your email address.

Don't believe me? Go try it out.

Do you know that lots of email newsletter platforms don't even take you to the organization's home page, let alone your account management page?

What's with that?

Do you know that for some, I've had to set up a totally new subscription for myself and then unsubscribe the old one? What's with that? Wouldn't it be more valuable and more efficient all around to have me modify my existing account? I'm willing to do it. I'm trained. So, why not make it easy for me to do that?

In some case, the language confuses. There may be a link to get to my account management, but for the life of me, I can't figure that out based on the options I'm offered.

I've had to open a separate search window to search for that site, log in [another headache] and then find my account management page. Couldn't it be a wee bit easier? After all, don't you want to endear yourselves to me? Can't you make it painless maybe even delightful to interact with you?....

For that matter, wouldn't you rather that I continue the relationship rather than dump you because you're such pain to interact with?

On the plus side, I've discovered interesting tidbits: I have two DIGG accounts, and no means of combining the two.

I'm done. As wonderful as email newsletters are, please, please, please consider how easy and intuitive your newsletters are for your readers to manage their account. Great job on unsubscribing, but how 'bout making it easier to have a longterm relationship?

Added 3/14/09:
I've just realized that Feedburner, through whom I distribute email updates for this blog, doesn't allow for easy subscription management. To change your email address, you need to resubscribe for the new and unsubscribe from the old address. I wonder how to get Feedburner to modify its system?

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