Something I fervently wish existed is a standard “unsubscribe” method for mailing lists - both discussion and broadcast. Something that an email client could hook into, in order to display a great big “unsubscribe” button in the interface.
I’ve been cleaning up a few mailboxes during the early part of the new year, and looking at email tactics for our own marketing efforts. It’s becoming clear that the plethora of unsub methods is not a good thing. Some systems just want you to click on a link. Others want you to click on a link, then fill in an email address and hit submit. Some want one of the above, and then they send you an email which you reply to, or further still, click on another link in to fully opt-out. Some have a range of tickboxes about remaining on their alert list rather than their newsletter list, and so on, and so forth.
An awful lot of people resort to hitting the “report spam” button instead of making their way through the maze, and that doesn’t help anyone. The trouble is that with at least one major newsletter out there, I tried for months to unsubscribe - and eventually had to mark the thing as spam to stop it appearing.
I assume there are technical issues with introducing an unsubscribe standard - so what are they? Is there a way to get around them?