Unsubscribe (Temporarily)

Unsub (Temp)

I got an email from Think Geek with something I’ve never seen before. (And no, it wasn’t the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag!)

It was a link in the email to temporarily unsubscribe until after the holidays.

I think it’s brilliant… and I think it shows that there is still room for innovative ideas in something as mundane as email marketing. I mean, I can understand how a company may want to ramp up before the holidays, especially if it’s a niche business consisting of a lot of wacky items, but seeing email after email with updates about shipping and specials and sales can be a bit much.

Want a break? No problem! Unsubscribe until the end of the year and we’ll see you next year.

I think this idea is similar to what I was going for in Users vs. Accounts vs. Signer-Uppers and Do you want to continue?


Do you want to continue?

Fire Eagle

In the post Users vs. Accounts vs. Signer-Uppers I talked about how there’s a difference between the people who just sign up for a service, and the people who actually sign up and continue to use that service.

My suggestion was that a service should check in with you by sending you a reminder to see if you still wanted to use it and keep your account active.

I’m not sure if the Fire Eagle team got the idea from me, or came up with it on their own, but either way, I was happy to get an email from them which led me to the question you see above.


Users vs. Accounts vs. Signer-Uppers

I’m a signer-upper. I admit it. I have a problem. Most of my friends are too. (Well, my nerdy online friends, but then, that’s most of my friends.)

Space Available

“Hey look, Froblunet launched today!?”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know, but I should probably sign up, create a profile, and check it out!”

And so it goes…

Scattered across the web are pieces of me… Accounts I’ve signed up for, wanting to check out some new site, just to see how they do it. How do they handle importing friends? How do they do uploads? How? How? How? It’s a question web people tend to ask. We’re either convinced there’s something interesting to see, or something to learn, so we sign up, give it a try, and maybe use it. Or maybe not. I should probably sign up… this might be the next big thing!

And then sites get to brag that they have 1 million users. Or that in their first day they had 100,000 people sign up. (75,000 of which never return.) But the media likes those numbers, and the news sites, and blogs, and investors like those numbers. They make everyone feel good. Except me.

Here’s an idea… Now that I’ve signed up for Froblunet, which is the hottest new thing since yesterday, I’d be totally fine with them emailing me months later if I never log in again and saying:

Hey, we noticed you haven’t logged in for 3 months, are you still interested in using Froblunet? If not, would you prefer to:
1. Delete your account (We’ll delete your data, and your email, and never bother you again.)
2. Inactivate your account (You can reactivate any time… we’ll reserve your username, and keep your email on file in case you ever want to try it out again, but we won’t email you again.)

I’d probably pick option 2 in many cases. Yes, inactivate my account! (Maybe it’s just my fear of deleting accounts. Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

But it’ll never happen.

I mean, I’d like to see this happen… but I think it’s unlikely. Sure, some engineer at Froblunet might think it makes sense, and would probably prefer to know that the people using the system are actually using the system. More accurate numbers are things engineers tend to like. Capacity planning and all that. But the sales and marketing guys would never go for it. Why say “We have 200,000 (active) users” when they can say “We have 500,000 users!”

By the way, I’m launching this new site next week that I’d love to have you sign up for…