What’s With the Insulting Opt-Out Messages?

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Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 10.48.14 AMThese days, it seems like every website has some type of email alert, and they want you to sign up – for something or other – as soon as you visit their site. So much so, that they bombard you with a pop-up, then insult you if you don’t agree to their interruption. A lose-lose when visiting any forceful website.

In general, I’m anti-pop up, an unpopular vote in the marketing world. I don’t see pop-ups as a way to gain followers; I see it as a way to irk potential ones. How many times have you been on a website, had no idea how to find their newsletter signup, and said, “Thank goodness for this pop up widget!” As if, without it, you wouldn’t have known where to go – that has probably never happened. Maybe you did sign up from the reminder; we’re not saying pop-ups never work. But in general, it’s a source of annoyance. They slow our computers’ load times, and they’re flat-out pushy. They make me want to not subscribe just because of the interruption.

The pop-up is the equivalent of getting interrupted mid-sentence HEY CHECK THIS OUT then trying to go back to your original conversation: it never quite works.

But now that’s not the only rude thing happening when you head online. Now, when you click “no,” that you don’t want to subscribe, many sites slap you with an insult. There’s no X to close the ad, and there’s not a “no thank you” tab, it’s something more incriminating. Like being forced to click, “No, I hate all forms of exercise” to opt out of an email. Others like, “I dislike positive thoughts,” or “I prefer to pay full price” are also offenders. With tens of other variations that are all, well, bitchy.

You can’t just politely decline these days; the website wants you to know you’re making a terrible mistake, and they’re going to have the last word. Even when you unsubscribe, they follow up with a message letting you know you unsubscribed. Just in case it was a mistake, apparently. These little digs, the follow-up and are-you-sures are like a needy S/O who just won’t let go. “Well if you want to spend your time with them, go ahead. I’ll be fine. It’s ok, really,” is what they’re telling us. “But in case you change your mind now or in five years, I’m still here.”

To-date, either insulting pop-up are working, or there isn’t enough info proving it’s not. The majority of the population isn’t dedicating blogs to how much they hate such tactics. (Though this guy agrees.)

Maybe if we band together, it’s a practice that will stop. Or, at the very least, will allow blockers to update their defense levels, leaving us both pop-up and insult-free.

Bethaney Wallace

Bethaney Wallace

Bethaney Wallace is a tea drinking, Amazon loving writer and editor. When she's not working on TSR or her personal blog, she loves reading and looking for new DIY projects.

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