This Sunday morning I've been doing some early spring cleaning on my MacBook, organising my email into annual folders, deleting old files etc.
One of the things I started doing last year was to take the time to unsubscribe from any promotional emails I get that don't help me, things like special offers from hotel chains I've used in the past. Or just plain old spam where my email address has somehow ended up on a supposedly premium list of subscribers.
One of the interesting things you notice when you undertake a batch of unsubscribing is the variable quality and ease with which you are able to unsubscribe.
The best experiences are properly branded landing pages that don't invite you to click any more buttons or key in your email address to confirm your desire to unsubscribe. It's also acceptable for some degree of survey asking why you're unsubscribing.
However, the vast majority of unsubcribe process flows are generally quite offensive, particularly when set agains the polish and sparkle of their front facing marketing websites.
It leaves you feeling like you complained that your soup could have been a little warmer and thirty seconds later you're sitting in the back alley, having been physically ejected out the back door of the restaurant.
It's not uncommon for it to be just a plain unsubscribe button (often not even centred) and processes that ask you to rekey your email address are as annoying as they are suspicious, and it's not unusual to be greeted with hugely patronising copy like "We're really sorry to hear that you no longer wish to receive our awesome newsletter." The bottom of the barrel are those unsubscribe flows that demand you reply to the email with the words "Remove" or "Unsubscribe" in the subject. It's clear these businesses are running email software they got free on a magazine cover CD in 1998.
When you think about how much effort, investment and focus is employed by businesses on their shop frontage, it's amazing to see the way they handle people who wish to unsubscribe from their emails being such a blind spot.
Just because I'm unsubscribing doesn't mean I hate you, nor that I won't use your company in future. But if you treat me like a scumbag when I take the time to ask you to stop polluting my inbox, I might just change my mind.
A somewhat sobering list for 2013.
- The 2008-2010 App era is fading fast and the category will rationalize downwards to a core set of premium quality apps we actually need. We've grown wiser and we're no longer wowed by yet another five minute wonder.
- Facebook will undergo a similar reality adjustment.
- There will be a huge DropBox privacy blunder, like a civil servant unwittingly sharing sensitive records in public (makes a change from leaving laptops in taxis) and DropBox probably won't recvover from the reputational damage.
- iOS 7 will either ship early because Apple will succumb to the pressure to demonstrate that it's rediscovered its innovation mojo, or late because it takes longer to rediscover its innovation mojo.
- An iPad Mini retina will ship by June and at the same time we'll grow weary of the annual upgrade gravy train and will start to question why we need another (insert any iOS/Android based device) so soon.
- Both Michael Dell and Steve Ballmer will retire.
- Google+ will be rebranded and reconstituted as something else in a bid to jumpstart it.
More when I think of them.
I've been in denial about it all day, and actually managed to get through most of the day without succumbing to any palpable sense of grief. But suddenly and spontaneously this evening it finally descended on me.
There's no escaping the fact my father died ten years ago today.
And I miss him.