Why unsubscribe?

why_unsubscribeLet’s face it, we’ve all gotten unwanted email in our inbox. According to a Microsoft Security Report more than 97% of all email is unwanted (aka spam).  So why the repeat of not so new information?  I’ve been dealing with one specific kind of spam from one specific source for the past two years now.  Also, I have pressed unsubscribe on at least 20 different emails from apparently 20 different lists.  The perpetrator?  Ziff Davis.  I’m assuming that I was put on their lists when I subscribed to the physical magazine.  That subscription ran out in 2007. I didn’t resub, although I did keep using their email on the pcmag.com site to read content that I wanted to.

I so far have not been able to find anything on ziffdavis.com that let’s me unsubscribe from all of their lists.  Today I got an email for some random product, I didn’t pay much attention because just seeing the sender “Ziff Davis” in my email inbox makes me automatically open it and click unsubscribe.  Today they told me that I had been successfully removed from their “Third-party Application” list.  Each time it is a different list. I remember one was their “Exciting Products” list or something to that effect.

With most unsolicited emails I receive I don’t do anything but click on the handy ‘spam’ button and leave it alone.  However, Ziff Davis is an actual company, a company with which I have done business with in the past.  They have obtained my email address from me.

So the question remains.  Why unsubscribe?  I’m not interested in your offerings any longer.  I no longer subscribe to any of your print magazines.  I no longer visit your site (that one is actually your fault, I decided to stop visiting because I disagreed with the practices your company uses regarding email).

I was amazed when I typed in “Ziff Davis Spam” into google and got a post dedicated to it. Read it for more details on this.

Why does this even matter

According to the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 unsubscribe requests are required to be honored within 10 days.  However, there isn’t a lot of clear definition for what constitutes unsolicited email.  In fact a lot of critics of the act claim that it gives federal approval for spammers, my thought, at least it gives them a guideline to work off of.

Back to my situation. Ziff Davis is a large publication company. You would think that they would honor requests from their current/former readers to be removed from their lists. At the very least make a way for them to unsubscribe enmass.

Maybe they should be a bit like piperlime.com (I buy from old navy). Not only did they honor my request to unsubscribe from the female shoe list, but they gave me a choice to possibly sign up for other lists.  I didn’t take advantage of it, but I liked having the choice.