Simple hack- allowing unsubscribe from internal mailing lists

Shane Gryzko, Head of Vampire Operations

At my previous company I volunteered to coordinate group blood donations. I prided myself on always improving the donation count year-over-year. However, this required sending lots of emails to recruit and recognize donors and I quickly started to worry about annoying people. So I investigated ways of allowing unsubscribe.
First, I checked out MailChimp. Unfortunately, our machines aren’t directly connected to the Internet, so even though MailChimp does provide unsubscribe links, they wouldn’t work in our internal network.

I (don’t) want to suck your blood

So I came up with this hacky but simple solution to allow people to opt out. The directions below are for Outlook but should work with any rich text email.
  1. Create a mailing list with everyone who may be interested.
  2. At the top of every email, put the following:

    To opt out of future blood-related emails, simply unsubscribe.
  3. If you’re using outlook, set up the hyperlink as follows:
    image001Otherwise, just add a hyperlink (Ctrl+K works in Gmail and Yahoo Mail) and paste the following text in, obviously replacing the email with your own email:

  4. Any time you receive an email with “unsubscribe” as the subject, remove that address from your mailing list.
It was a relatively small company so I only ever got a handful of unsubscribe requests, but if I were to get much more, this unsubscription process could be automated quite easily by adding filters based on the subject.
Are there better ways to accomplish this? Have you managed to automate something like it? Let me know!

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