How NOT to Design Software: Got Marketing’s Campaigner.com

September 20, 2006


Campaigner is an Ottawa-based email marketing service.

In their web app, you go through 6 steps to send your email to your clients. The process is straight forward, but on step 4 they include this towards the bottom of the page:

Campaigner.com - Bad Software Design
Now…I am not against that sort of “viral” marketing, but here are three MAJOR problems with the way Campaigner does it:

1) By default they ASSUME you want their marketing in your email. WRONG.
2) This check box is below the fold so it is easy to overlook. WRONG.
3) They don’t show you what the campaigner footer looks like, so you don’t know what you are getting. POOR.
4) EVERY time you go to this step/page, they reset the check box to “on”. WORSE THAN WRONG.

When you are putting the finishing touches on an email campaign, you may make many last minute edits.

If by chance you don’t look below the fold and notice they have rechecked the box WITHOUT asking you or prompting you, your email will include their logo and marketing message. Very poor form. Do not do this to your users.

Here is the right way to go:

1) Default it to “off”.
2) Show your users an example of what it will look like.
3) Remember your user’s preference (i.e. “on” or “off”).

This is just respecting your users and their interests, and that is always the right thing to do…plus it keeps people from writing posts like this…another upside 🙂


about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumoured he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.