The Evil Web Lunatic Award goes to…

Bad marketing is everywhere on the internet. Hopefully this example will encourage you to check that your company doesn’t commit the same mistakes.

This month’s Evil Web Lunatic Award goes to, trading under the name. They work in a dying industry, producing and selling printed magazines, so perhaps it’s understandable that they are reluctant to let any customer go.

But that’s exactly what I wanted to do when I received their email earlier today.

Thankfully there’s an unsubscribe button in the email footer:

Email footer with unsubscribe link

…which takes me to this page (I’ve masked the pre-filled email addresses for confidentiality reasons):

Archant Manage Profile page

We now have two choices: option one is to ‘Update’ our email address or option two which is to unsubscribe via a ‘Resubscribe’ button. Neither makes much sense so let’s try each in turn:

Archant Route One Manage Profile Screen

The Archant Opt-in button was pre-selected so I deselect it as the last thing I want is to opt-in to more emails. When I hit ‘Update’ I’m warned I must check one of the opt-in check boxes, the opposite of what I want to do.

So that didn’t work. Let’s go back and press the confusingly titled “Resubscribe” button:

Archant Route Two Unsubscribe page

This time my ‘Unsubscribe’ request has successfully ‘Resubscribed’ my email address.

What sort of evil lunatic designed these pages and how are they holding down a job at a publishing company?

These sort of blatant attempts to mislead consumers and lock them in to unwanted services are outdated, highly unprofessional and potentially illegal.

So, reluctantly, I have to say well done Archant Community Media Ltd of Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 1RE. You win my Evil Web Lunatic Award for making it truly impossible to unsubscribe from your emails.