How not to do an unsubscribe

Unsubscribing from an email list should, in theory, be a very simple task. I click a link and boom, I’m unsubscribed.

Lately, I’ve noticed a few sites handle unsubs in a way that really irks me. Back in the day, I signed up for some email thing at Wendy’s. The reason why escapes me at the moment, but they only send me things occasionly. As part of my push to rid my inbox of unnecessary stuff (been reading Power of Less), I decided that I no longer wanted to get emails from Wendy’s. I enjoy your salads, but don’t want your emails. At the bottom of the email, was an unsubscribe link. Here ’tis:


I clicked on the link, and got taken to a web page. For most emails I receive, that one click is enough to get me off the list. Sometimes, my email address is shown and I can choose what types of communications I want to receive or which lists I want to be removed from. Wendy’s does none of that. They force me to manually enter my email address in twice. As always, click for a larger version.


On one hand, it’s probably a good marketing move. When I saw that, I didn’t want to take the time to complete the form and thus I would remain on their list. Then I was annoyed enough to take screenshots and write a blog post.

What can higher ed learn from this? Sometimes people, be they prospective students, current students or alumni, want to be taken off an email list. We need to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Sure, it stinks we can’t communicate with them any longer via email, but making the unsubscribe process simple and easy will hopefully allow them to leave with a positive feeling and, who knows, maybe come back and subscribe again.

1 thought on “How not to do an unsubscribe”

  1. Actually, I am even more leery of emails that have unsubscribe links when I am pretty sure that I haven’t “subscribed” in the first place…”unsubscribe” and the next thing you know you are on some weirdo pharm/porn/dating/mortgage email list.

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