June 24, 2014


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How many newsletters do you receive without noticing?

You may notice due to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which takes effect on July 1, 2014. Email lists are already meant to be opt-in already but some senders are asking subscribers to opt-in again.

Before you do, re-examine the value of each newsletter. You have the opportunity to reduce inbox clutter, focus your attention and boost your productivity.

Better Ways?

You get instant information whenever you want via a web search or social media. Those channels may be faster than searching through your email, especially if you have multiple accounts. In addition, you may find newer information or fresh sources.

If you’re following an organization in other ways (e.g., LinkedIn Company Page, LinkedIn Showcase Page, Twitter or Google Plus) you’ll often get the same information in an easily shareable way.

27 Typical Requests For Permission

Having to give permission feels like work. Notice the sameness in these subject lines:
  1. Request for consent – time sensitive
  2. LAST CALL – newsletter confirmation request
  3. Stay informed. We need your consent.
  4. Updating our email list
  5. Reminder – Consent to Communicate
  6. IMPORTANT – requesting your consent
  7. Help Us Keep You Up To Date
  8. One Minute Ask: Your Consent Is Required (CASL)
  9. [COMPANY] requests your consent
  10. [COMPANY] needs your consent!
  11. [COMPANY] requires your consent
  12. Consent requested to contact you by email
  13. Stay Connected.
  14. Keep us in your inbox
  15. Email consent request from [PERSON’S NAME]
  16. CASL – What you need to know
  17. Update your e-mail preferences! Don’t miss out!
  18. Deadline approaching
  19. We request your consent
  20. ACTION REQUIRED: We require your consent
  21. Request for consent - time sensitive
  22. Anti-spam is just around the corner
  24. [COMPANY NAME} doesn't want to lose you
  25. Say Yes To Stay Connected
  26. URGENT: [COMPANY NAME] Requires Your Consent
  27. Don't lose out on great business information
The content suffers from sameness too. For example: “July 1 is approaching and we have not yet heard from you. We value our relationship with you and would like to stay connected, but we require your consent in accordance with new Canadian legislation.”

A Simple Way To Keep Subscribers

There’s a simple way for senders to entice subscribers to accept marginal newsletters: offer incentives like prizes or something useful for free. Even big companies aren’t doing this when they easily could. They must think their content is very special even when it’s really about them.

The Exceptions

Some senders aren’t asking for permission to continue sending their newsletters. Perhaps they feel they already have permission. Perhaps they’re reluctant to ask because they fear mass unsubscribes. Perhaps they interpret the laws differently. You can still unsubscribe.

The Sneaky Ones

Some senders are not asking for permission (and never really had it). One doesn’t even have an unsubscribe option. Instead, you’re to send them an email.
One company is saying
“if we don't receive explicit consent from you, in limited circumstances, we will continue to provide relevant communication to you under the implied consent provisions.”
The oddest example is Expedia, which just added me to a list without permission:
“As a subscriber to Groupon Getaways by Expedia, we are happy to start providing you with special travel deals and promotions. As a part of our ongoing commitment to bring you the best experience, we want to let you know that you are now automatically enrolled to receive emails directly from Expedia.”
The last Groupon email arrived on September 8, 2011.

Change Your Mind?

Chances are good that you won’t miss what you’ve stopped receiving. If you change your mind, you can always re-subscribe to a mailing list.


PS I’ve unsubscribed from 30+ lists and feel lighter.

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