Explanation of our invite to “unsubscribe”

//Explanation of our invite to “unsubscribe”

Explanation of our invite to “unsubscribe”

If you’re a member of the Help-Portrait community site, last week you were sent an email inviting you to unsubscribe. In hindsight, we should have explained our intentions more thoroughly. This post is intended to give you some context for that email.

This year, we celebrate our fifth year of doing Help-Portrait global events. Wow, five years! In the process of ramping up for this year’s events, we are revamping our website and community to better serve the needs of the community. In reviewing our current community, we recognize that there are four different types of community members:

  1. Those who signed up out of curiosity and never actually participated
  2. Those who signed up, participated and are still interested in our organization
  3. Those who signed up, participated, but are no longer interested in hearing from our organization
  4. Spammers

As we look to transition to our new site, the aim of the email blast was two-fold:

  • Invite those people who fit into #1 and #3 a chance to opt-out, something our community site doesn’t do very easily
  • Rid the list of spammers who used invalid email addresses to register their accounts

The goal of the campaign was achieved as we rid of over 1500 spammers and approximately 5000 people opted out of the list. The result is a spam-free, interested and engaged community who will be invited to our new website and community. This is a win/win for everybody.

I want to apologize if the email was confusing or offensive. As you can see from the above explanation, it wasn’t intended to do that. In the future, we will explain our actions in more details in an effort to minimize confusion.

Thanks for being a part of the Help-Portrait community. We couldn’t do this without you.

kyle-standard—Kyle Chowning
Executive Director

By |2016-12-03T07:38:03+00:00March 20th, 2013|Updates|4 Comments

About the Author:

Kyle Chowning is the co-founder and executive director of Help-Portrait.


  1. Morgan March 20, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    I think that your email was sort of misleading. You shouldn’t “invite” people to unsubscribe. Those of us to have put in many many hours to be apart of this organization, didn’t find that very welcoming. I understand the intentions and thing that it’s great that you posted this blog post to explain yourself.

    As someone who works in Marketing & Promotions, that was a rather shocking email to read.

  2. Scott March 20, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Yep, What Morgan said…. Glad it’s resolved. Thanks…

  3. Michael March 20, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Glad to see the explanation, but respectfully, an e-mail like that should have never gone out. Revamping a site and don’t want people to get inundated with messages? That’s what the unsubscribe/change preferences link is for at the bottom of every e-mail. Also, e-mail newsletters are one-way communication; it’s not a community (your website is). If you’re the sender and thousands of people are the recipients, the recipients cannot possibly be spammers. If people sign-up with fake e-mail addresses, simply require double opt-in at time of signup.

    I’d love to hear your definition of a spammer! If you’re trying to limit the number of people who receive emails who aren’t interested, Emma (and other major providers) can auto-target the most engaged people by open, click rates, and conversions.

    PS, spammers are not people who don’t open your e-mail. :(

  4. Mike March 27, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Thanks for the expanded explanation. Appreciate the spring cleaning efforts!

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