I really, really hope my alma mater doesn’t employ these same practices. Shame on them too, if they do.
In 2008, I signed up to make a monthly automatic contribution to the NC Children’s Hospital (the “12 x 12 donation”). The NC Children’s Hospital is an absolutely amazing, and absolutely necessary place, that I would support with or without its affiliation to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. With that donation, they received my email address.
In 2009, I’ve signed up for the Morehead Planetarium email list. (Also cool, but not nearly as important as the Children’s Hospital.)
You can imagine my surprise (and little bit of disgust) when I received an email last week that opened with “Hello alumni and friends of Carolina,”
All jokes aside (and trust me, it could be way worse – not only did I graduate TWICE from another university, but I graduated TWICE from a RIVAL university), so why on Earth am I getting emails like this?
As I went to unsubscribe, I was taken to a subscription management page (ok – thumbs up are due here) where I found out I have been so kindly added to ALL of the following lists:
A free newsletter for alumni, parents of current students and friends of the University from the Office of University Relations. FYI provides information about people, events and issues at Carolina about six times a year
GAA affinity information
Includes credit card, insurance and similar programs
University and GAA events
Reunions, Travel, Lifelong Learning, Carolina Club news and events, etc.
University and GAA news
University athletic information and tickets
University schools and departments
Includes Business, College of Arts & Sciences, Dentistry, Education, Government, Information and Library Science, Journalism and Mass Communication, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and UNC Libraries
You’ll notice that neither the NC Children’s Hospital nor the Planetarium are on that list. But those are the only two institutions on the campus of UNC with my email address.
Clearly, I was about to be bombarded with emails that were not only irrelevant, but just downright unwanted. You want a quicker way to get people to just “Opt-out from all emails (Remove me from all current and future emails, regardless of any individual settings.)” and permanently ban you from contacting them ever again? I really can’t think of one.
Lessons Learned (the hard way by Carolina):
1 – Know your audience. If your list doesn’t come exclusively from a graduation or general university fund donor roster, don’t assume I’m an alum (or even a friend). You’re better off not using an introduction at all, unless you know for a fact that it will be all encompassing.
2 – Keep your contact lists relevant. Don’t share your email address lists across multiple (often ultimately unrelated) business units.