Making the Least of Opt Out

I get e-mails because I once signed up for so I could read an article there. I might have opted out once or twice before; I know I’ve tried to opt-out of the Twin Cities Star several times, but like a drunk-dialing ex, they keep ringing me up with ludicrous offers hundreds of miles from me.

So I tried to opt out of the e-mails via the latest offer from, an offer targeted to KU and MU (that’s University of Missouri-Columbia, not really an MU like my alma mater). Here’s the link in the e-mail:

Kansas City Star e-mail
Click for full size
What would you expect that to take you to? Not where it takes you.

Instead of taking you to a simple opt-out form where you can enter an e-mail address, it redirects you to an error page:

Kansas City Star error page
Click for full size
I don’t know if the creators of the e-mail gave a bad link or if the e-mail vendor encoded it wrong, but I do know that nobody tried clicking through on a test e-mail.

But it’s not a bug, it’s a feature! So a user then has to go to the log in page, trigger a forgotten password reminder (probably), and then log in to opt out. That’s a lot of steps, and most people (like me) will find it easier to continue deleting the mail unread. However, deleted mails are still mails sent, so the metrics still rock!

Also, kudos to the KCStar Web team for having a JavaScript error on their error page:

Kansas City Star error page JavaScript error
Click for full size
The pièce de résistance.

No Responses to “Making the Least of Opt Out”

  1. jkyle Says:

    Something interesting to note about email metrics …

    We use Exact Target to send email blasts where I work and they have a partnership with AOL where they track whether people who use AOL mark message sent thru Exact Target as spam. If you get too many messages marked as spam by AOL users, then Exact Target has the option to block your account from sending.

wordpress visitors