Unsubscribe: Mission Impossible?

Mission ImpossibleRecently, we were invited by a big organization to hop over and present our email marketing software to them.  Being a small or even tiny company by comparison, we were naturally honored.

So Johnny and I got to work and prepared our presentation.  On the big day, things went well and we thought we were a shoo-in for the job until The Boss popped this question:

“How do you handle unsubscribe requests?”

With pride on our faces, we told them all about our one-click unsubscribe policy.  (We believe that subscribers should be able to unsubscribe easily from any newsletter, and we require our clients to feature an unsubscribe link in all their campaigns.)

What we heard next left us stunned in disbelief. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation, or at least, what we remember of it:

The Boss
“Oh, one-click unsubscribe?  We don’t want that, we want the unsubscribe function to be as difficult as possible.”

The Stunned Guys (of course, Johnny and me)
“But why do you want to keep subscribers who are no longer interested in hearing from you?”

The Boss (brimming with the confidence of someone who is always right)
“This is marketing.  You shove them with your marketing information whether they like it or not, and eventually they might find something that they like.”

Well, she’ll have to find herself another partner, because she definitely won’t be using our system to carry out her plans for world domination.

The saddest thing is, we’ve been their customers for years (and still are), but we’re glad we’ve never subscribed to their newsletters or any of their campaigns.