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Broken signup processes

DJ Waldow wrote a post on explicit permission over on Mediapost. I think he hit on some interesting bits and wanted to comment on them. In order to comment on a Mediapost blog, you have to register.

I’ve thought about it before, but every time I start the process I get to the page asking for detailed demographic information and decide no. This time, I was inspired enough by DJ to get to the second page of the signup process. This requires me to identify what type of marketing I’m interested in and won’t let me past the page until I click something. I’m not interested in anything, so I close the webpage. I can always write my own blog post responding to DJ.

I return to my inbox to discover a welcome message from Mediapost. It seems I am now a member and will be receiving email and specials and all the stuff I didn’t want from them.

This isn’t unusual. There are tons of websites on the net that don’t require you to complete a signup process in order to be added to their database. One of the worst I experienced was 1-800-Pet-Meds. They added me to their database when I abandoned a cart (what I wanted required a prescription from them, whereas I could just go into my vet’s and pick it up, so I’ll just pay the vet’s prices). They added me to their mailing list and couldn’t unsubscribe me because I was not in their customer database. Everything was done with the magic order number, which I didn’t have because I never ordered with them. That was fun to sort out.

It’s a bad idea to add people who don’t complete the signup or purchase process to your mailing lists. If you’re worried about losing a potential customer, then you can send mail reminding them to complete the process (or purchase). If you’re very into customer service, you can ask them if they are interested in future specials from you: would you like to opt-in to our mailing list anyway? Or you can give them the opportunity to remove their information from your database.

8 comments

  1. pgl says

    Love the irony that this comes from you attempting to sign up to comment on a post about *explicit permission*. 🙂

  2. Al Iverson says

    They either deleted my Mediapost commenting account or something broke…I couldn’t get in to comment. They make it so arduous that I think I give up, anyway. I mostly liked DJ’s post (and it was a good conversation starter), but overall, I think I’m done reading MediaPost. For every one percent of good ideas and new things to think about, it’s 99% of echo chamber garbage about how to spam. And then there are a group of commenters that seem to show up regularly to tell us that B2B spam is OK (even if that had nothing to do with the article). Some of those commenters seem to work for an email append company. Go figure.

  3. laura says

    DJ did have a good point, one I wanted to comment on. But I’ll just write a response here at some point.

  4. DJ Waldow says

    Laura – You are awesome. Is it bad that I laughed while reading this post? The irony, right? There is a lot that I’m frustrated with around MediaPost. As an author on Email Insider, I hate to say this but I kinda agree with Al that it’s one big echo chamber. While I write a monthly article, I rarely read others. Is that bad?

    All that being said, I appreciate that you read the article and am DYING to hear your comments as well as Al’s. I have the utmost respect for both of you and really want your thoughts/feedback. That article was a tough one to write. I’m not sure I even agree with everything I wrote. Dammit.

    I’d be happy to continue the conversation/comments here if you’d like.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  5. The Proverbial Barry says

    not just mediapost

    all email marketing blogs are an echo chamber, nobody else cares what you say
    not even other marketers

    sometimes laura says something fun and that is the only reason to read this

  6. Al Iverson says

    I am bored with the Proverbial Barry. His or her slings and arrows are about as pointed as soaking wet pasta. If you’re going to enlighten anyone with any point of view, you actually have to put some meat behind it. This has become the equivalent of “lol your fat” trolls on my wife’s blog.

  7. DJ Waldow says

    +1 to Al’s comment.

  8. pgl says

    +1 also

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