Soft spam & bad e-mail marketing

Jason Calacanis talks about a bad unsubscribe form at zagat.com — I call this “soft spam”. “Soft spam” are those pesky emails, like the one Jason’s referring to, that make it hard for the user to unsubscribe. In Jason’s example, Zagat wants him to login to his account again and it’s likely that he doesn’t remember the password anymore which means he has to go through a “forgot password” screen, reset or retrieve his password, get that from his email, go back to the site, login, find the screen where he can unsubscribe and then unsubscribe.

“Soft spam” like this sucks and I’ve started using Gmail’s newish “Filter messages like this” option to killfile stuff like this straight to the trash:

filter-messages-like-this1.jpg

I also happened to write about this earlier this week:

I’m a big fan of Gmail’s “filter messages like this” option that makes it quick and easy to kill what I call “soft spam” — the stuff that is unsolicited but loosely tied to something you did or signed up for and not something you can easily, authoritatively unsubscribe from. For example: you sign up the exhibit at a tradeshow, they sell your address to people that sell shipping services, pop-up booth displays, etc. You attend a tradeshow in Taiwan and subsequently every manufacturer in taiwan/china is “happy to is meeting you” and wants to sell you “high-quality hello kitty USB styrofoam missile launchers, only 10,000 MOQ!!!”. Unsubscribing from some of these is difficult so I just quickly create a filter that sends ‘em straight to the trash. 🙂 Ah sweet, sweet google mail filters.