Recently I was added to an internal mailinglist after signing up for topic service I was interested in. A couple of mails came in from time to time with interesting content, so I didn't bother looking for alternative means of subscription (digests, or unsubscription alltogether). The other day, however, someone emailed the mailing list address with a "Please remove me" request, which quickly spurred 20+ more "me toos". This led me to Google for some info I knew I had mentioned in the past:
Jakob Nielsen writes about Mailing list usability and provides some lessons learnt for anyone managing or considering setting up mailing lists (either that's one-way announcement lists or mailing lists intended for discussion):
To avoid complaints about spamming users, provide an easy way to unsubscribe and explain how in the footer of every single email message.However, he also helpfully suggests:
Some people may say that doing so would encourage users to get off the list and thus lose customers. But somebody who is getting tired of your emails is not likely to be much of a customer anyway. And the more you annoy that person, the less they will like you. Make it easy to get off, and maybe they will get back on some other time.
Each message footer should contain instructions on how to subscribe. If your newsletter is good, recipients will often forward it to other users, and they need to know how to get their own subscription.
Anders Jacobsen |
[weblog / photography]