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Dayna Bateman

I'm a research driven ecommerce strategist & UX professional. This is where I think about work.

Find me on
linked in or dopplr or tweet me to say hey or contact me via my google profile

Things I've said & written:

Trust: The Secret Sauce In Social Commerce

Ecommerce & the Social Web: Why it matters. What you can do.

What are you doing unto others? The importance of reciprocity on the social web.

Good Search Abandonment: Delivering Content without Clicks to the Cross-channel Customer

The ways and means of widgets

Email is dead. Long live Email.

Internet Retailer

NYTimes on Online Accessibility

NYTimes on Interactive Catalogs

Harnessing Customer Influence & Emerging Interests (In a Hurry & On the Cheap)

The Big So What: The Apple iPad Enters Our Lives

Archive

Feb
25th
Sat
permalink

speaking of unsubscribes

Hard to believe that in 2012 some email marketers are still unfamiliar with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

This morning I received a marketing/welcome email from believe.com, which describes itself as “a new faith-based content destination serving the Christian community, dedicated to helping Christians deepen their walk with the Lord as well as fellowship with other believers.”

Here’s the problem: I never created an account on believe.com. However, I was an early adopter of a common email provider which means my email address is simple, straightforward, and frequently mis-appropriated and fat-fingered. Just last month someone else created a Monster.com account using my email address. These things happen once in a while and are usually easy to remedy.

Not so with believe.com.

I looked for an “unsubscribe” link in the footer of the email. Not there.

I went to the site and attempted to recover the password so that I could suspend the account. I received a reset password link that the system told me (upon click) was expired. (I clicked it as soon as I received it.) I tried again with the same result.

So I performed the failsafe: I replied to the email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Here’s the reply I received along with my response. Personal names have been bleeped to protect the innocent.

=================

On 25 February 2012 07:42, Believe.com Support wrote:

Hi Dayna,

To stop the email notifications received from our service,

1. Click on your username in the upper right corner of the site This will lead you to your account page.
2. Click on EDIT next to Email Options
3. Unselect the boxes next to the notifications you would like to STOP receiving
4. Click on SAVE

Please let me know if you need further guidance.

A*****

The place to share your beliefs and find inspiration…
www.believe.com

=========================

My reply.

Here’s the problem, A*****:

1) I never signed up for believe.com — but I have a very simple email address that folks frequently mistype — this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself signed up for something that someone else mistakenly signed me up for.

2) When I attempted to retrieve the password to do exactly as you recommend (twice) I was told that my reset password link had expired, even though I clicked on it immediately — so it was impossible for me to access the account to suspend it and unsubscribe.

Here’s the third problem — which I recommend you bring to the attention of your management immediately, because it puts your email marketing program, and subsequent revenue stream, in jeopardy:

By not allowing me to unsubscribe with a single action — either via email or a simple form on your website that is accessible without a login, your business is in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. I’ve included a link for your reference below. I’d like you to UNSUBSCRIBE ME IMMEDIATELY — I will be making no further attempts to unsubscribe myself, and if I receive another believe.com email I will report your business to your ESP. Customer complaints can lead to blacklisting with your email service provider, which will mean that your ability to mail to ALL of your customers will be suspended.

Here is a brief overview of the CAN-SPAM Act: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN-SPAM_Act_of_2003

Your business is in violation of the following:

Unsubscribe compliance
• A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails.
• Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 days.
• Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes.

I look forward to your swift action. Thank you.

=========================

p.s. coincidentally, yesterday I posted about some folks who do unsubscribes right. check out Fab »

=========================

An update.

On 25 February 2012 12:35, Believe.com Support wrote:

Hi Dayna,
To remove your account, please log into Believe.com and click on your username in the upper right hand corner of the page. Doing so will take you to your account page where you can click “Remove My Profile”.

Please let me know if you need anything else!

J****

The place to share your beliefs and find inspiration…
www.believe.com

=========================

Hi J****:
Please re-read my first email closely — it explains that I did not create this account — it was created erroneously with my email address. Your system will not allow me to logon because when I tried to reset the password I was told that the (brand new) link, sent to me at *******@*****.com, had expired. I was told to try again, which I did, with the same unhappy result.

Just now I tried a third time and received no reply from your system — I will take this an optimistic sign that you have managed to suspend the account created under my email address.

However, if that is not the case, please attend to this issue as soon as possible. I would like you to suspend the account and suppress *******@*****.com from your email marketing list immediately.

Please write soon to confirm that these actions have been taken.

thank you.