Let them go!


Unsubscribing should be so simple. Even if someone signed up for mail, senders should let them go when they unsubscribe. Unfortunately, there are a lot of senders that make it difficult to unsubscribe. In fact, many companies are still hiding unsubscribe links behind login pages.

Neither a sender nor any person acting on behalf of a sender may require that any recipient pay any fee, provide any information other than the recipient’s electronic mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any other steps except sending a reply electronic mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page, in order to:
(a) Use a return electronic mail address or other Internet-based mechanism, required by 15 U.S.C. 7704(a)(3), to submit a request not to receive future commercial electronic mail messages from a sender; or
(b) Have such a request honored as required by 15 U.S.C. 7704(a)(3)(B) and (a)(4). CFR 15 U.S.C. 7701-7713

I’ve recently been inundated with emails from our credit union. We opened an account there a few months ago, and I gave them an address when they asked for it. Even though I didn’t think I was interested in their mail, I wanted to give them a chance. And, I figured I could always opt-out if it was a problem.
Sadly, I was mistaken. I’ve tried to opt-out multiple times. None of them seem to have taken. Even worse, I got the email on my phone today and tried to opt-out again only to discover that their opt-out page is broken on smart phones. There was actually no place to put in my email address, as the page wouldn’t scroll on the phone.
As I said earlier, the CAN SPAM police are not going to be breaking down the door of these companies to force them to comply with the law. At least with tagged addresses I can block, bounce or filter the spam as I want. Other people aren’t so lucky.

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  • I can understand how many small providers – credit unions, for example – might not be completely up to speed on CAN SPAM. But I’ve been fighting with – well, let’s just call them the industry leader in virtualization – about exactly the same thing. ‘Log on now to unsubscribe’

  • The industry leader in virtualization, you say? I had the same problem.
    I think one part of the problem is that many companies build things (banking websites, “social media” platforms, etc.) that use email, without it really clicking with them that they’re building an email platform.
    The developers aren’t building an email marketing platform or a transactional email platform, they’re building a web application – so they don’t think they need to be intimately familiar with the social and legal implications of the email they send. But they are building an email platform, and they really do need to be aware of them.

  • I can somewhat understand what you’re saying about not expecting everyone to be entirely up-to-date on CAN-SPAM. It’s only 9 years old with the most recent updates being only four years ago, after all. That’s not nearly long enough for companies to research and adjust their email programs. Obviously, at least 15 years is needed before companies should even consider adhering to any law or best practices when it comes to their interactions with their customers. The mind boggles at the logic of some of these companies.

By laura

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