The Blog

Problems with Permission: Foursquare

It's been a while since my last problems with permission post. Truth is, I've run out of bad examples of email marketing.

“What,” you say, “there's so much bad email marketing out there, how could you run out?”

Well, the truth is that most of the bad email marketing out there just isn't interesting. No one cares that some linkspamming company is sending spamy email. Everyone knows that, and everyone expects that. It's when the big guys mess it up that it becomes interesting.

And so I was thrilled, the other day, when I got an email from Foursquare…

Foursquare is a pretty web savvy company. They do a lot right, have a pretty cool user experience, and do seem to care about their users.

That's why its amusing to see them slip up on their email.

I, like many other people, signed up for Foursquare to see what all the fuss was about. I thought I had clicked “do not subscribe to newsletter”, especially since I didn't get any email until recently – at least 8 months later.

Oh well, simple unsubscribe right? At the bottom of their page:

Right. This again. So now I have to either remember my password for an account I haven't accessed in ages, or go through the recover password.

Now, people may remember Straker's post on flipping people off who we dont want as customers, and so it kind of makes sense: anyone who uses your service will remember their login/password (or just already be logged in). Anyone who doesn't… well, who cares about the people who don't use your services?

But here's the thing: beyond Straker's point about pissing off people who may be potential users in the future (or who may convince others not to be customers), you legally need to provide a no-login unsubscribe.

Anyhow, this is a small slip up from a company that generally is pretty good about this kind of thing. Hopefully they'll fix it.

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