Newsletter quality

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 19 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

At some point I must have given my email address to Classmates. I don’t remember doing so, but reputable companies generally don’t buy spam lists, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

This morning I got an offer from them for some sort of subscription bonus. I wasn’t interested, but here’s some hints for Classmates.

  1. Permission goes stale. I don’t remember signing up to receive offers from you. If I did it was long enough ago that I don’t recall doing it, but this is the first time I’ve gotten an email offer from you. If you haven’t contacted me for a long time, make sure you remind me why I’m getting this email and make it easy to get off your list.
  2. Check your links
    You spell check your newsletter don’t you? Then why don’t you also check and make sure all the links in the email work as well? Especially if you send HTML email to me where I can’t see where the link takes me until I click. I cound’t find unsubscribe instructions, so I clicked a link to your help section. The link has an extra space at the end, which my browser encodes as %20. So I got a page not found error. I happen to know that when I see http://www.classmates.com/help/%20 that you really meant http://www.classmates.com/help/, but not everyone does.
  3. Color Blind
    I’m sure you thought that changing some of the text to red was a good way to highlight it. Good thing I’m not color blind or I might not have been able to see it. Many people have trouble reading red text on a white background. In fact I’ve seen some statistics that say up to 10% of people may have trouble with red text on white. The University of Wisconnsin has some good links resources for dealing with color blindness in Web design.

Steven Garrity
February 20, 2002 4:02 PM

"Permission goes stale." - Preach on brother! This important rule reminds me of Jakob Nielsen's proposed 'token' based permission system. Jakob idea involves giving a company a digital token that will allow one (or some other limited number) of opportunities to contact you without divulging your actual address. Good call.

Adam Kalsey
February 20, 2002 8:55 PM

But Nielsen would want to tie those tokens to micropayments. :) When I am required to divulge an email address, I often use a Sneakemail address. Sneakemail is a free service that allows you to create an unlimited number of thowaway email addresses that forward to your real email. If a company starts abusing it or if it shows up on a spam list, you can block all email forwarding or even delete the address altogether. http://sneakemail.com/

fltankersley
November 3, 2003 12:48 PM

I joined classmates several months ago. I changed computers and e mail a address. I can not get in touch with any one at your Help address. I sent a address change but when I go to Classmates all i get is advertising to get a a gold membership. I already have one under my old address but can not get it changed to my new email address. My old email address was ltankersley@ @hormel.com I am a member of the 1961 class at Whitehaven High school in Memmpis Tenn. I s there any way I can get this changed to my new address Right now the membership is worthless

Adam Kalsey
November 3, 2003 1:43 PM

Since I'm not affiliated with Classmates.com, there's not much I can do to help. Apparently this page is one of the top search results for classmates.com/help, so I get a number of visitors who typed that URL into a search engine instead of their browser's address bar. Many of these people think that they've reached Classmates for some reason and send me a message asking for help. Many of these people have similar problems. They've tried contacting Classmates Help and don't ever get a response.

This discussion has been closed.

Recently Written

The Trap of The Sales-Led Product (Dec 10)
It’s not a winning way to build a product company.
The Hidden Cost of Custom Customer Features (Dec 7)
One-off features will cost you more than you think and make your customers unhappy.
Domain expertise in Product Management (Nov 16)
When you're hiring software product managers, hire for product management skills. Looking for domain experts will reduce the pool of people you can hire and might just be worse for your product.
Strategy Means Saying No (Oct 27)
An oft-overlooked aspect of strategy is to define what you are not doing. There are lots of adjacent problems you can attack. Strategy means defining which ones you will ignore.
Understanding vision, strategy, and execution (Oct 24)
Vision is what you're trying to do. Strategy is broad strokes on how you'll get there. Execution is the tasks you complete to complete the strategy.
How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI (Oct 21)
Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.
Developer Relations as Developer Success (Oct 19)
Outreach, marketing, and developer evangelism are a part of Developer Relations. But the companies that are most successful with developers spend most of their time on something else.
Developer Experience Principle 6: Easy to Maintain (Oct 17)
Keeping your product Easy to Maintain will improve the lives of your team and your customers. It will help keep your docs up to date. Your SDKs and APIs will be released in sync. Your tooling and overall experience will shine.

Older...

What I'm Reading

Contact

Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497

Resume

Public Key

© 1999-2021 Adam Kalsey.