Easy unsubscribing means that no avoidable obstacles are placed within the unsubscribe process.

For German-based providers like XQueue typical obstacles, regarded problematic or unacceptable, are:

  • additional info required (like reason for unsubscribing)
  • pages that appear before the actual unsubscribe form shows (e.g. ads, attempts to change the unsubscriber’s mind. A short opt-down or opt-over offer on the unsubscribe page is legitimate when not blocking or delaying the unsubscribe action)
  • asking for user authentication by username and password (e.g. having to register in the shop system and change settings there etc…)
  • manual input of the email address required (is at least not user-friendly)
  • unsubscribe option is too small, hardly visible or hidden compared to the rest of the page (e.g. at the bottom of a long page where the user needs to scroll all the way down).
  • unsubscribing not possible at certain times or from certain IPs/ countries, or blocked by other technical obstacles (e.g. Javascript required or so)

An opt-out confirmation mail is surprisingly widely accepted and even recommended (as long as it does not contain any unrelated information). This is a bit contradictory to the rather strict position of courts towards the opt-in mail.

Ideally you just omit anything impeding or slowing down the process, or making things confusing for the unsubscriber. It’s always unfortunate to lose a subscriber, but the person has already made a decision – trying to prevent her or him by using obscure tactics will only reinforce their opinion. An attractive option to re-optin on the unsubscribe confirmation page might do a better job, if at all.

 

Posted in: Legal issues

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