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If you are like me, you have a big pet peeve – unwanted emails. (I’m not talking about spam, but those promotional emails that you get daily, yet never open.)
Every single day you wake up and see a red bubble over your mail app on your phone with a number that you know is far more than it should be. You don’t care about most of the emails you get, and you waste precious moments of your life deleting emails one-by-one, or you simply let them all pile up, cluttering your inbox.
I’m one of those types of people who can’t stand to have notification bubbles on my phone, so I used to spend time each and every day deleting emails that I wished I had never received – emails that I never even opened!
Eventually, I’d had enough, and decided to take action to regain control over my inbox.
How Do You Get So Many Unwanted Emails Anyway?
People are constantly asked for their email address by companies. It is second nature for many of us to simply hand over this information. And once the company has our email address, we’re often added to an email list by the company, and we start receiving newsletters, updates and other promotional content.
In some cases, it is impossible to sign up for a service without providing our email address. Sometimes, it is 100% essential that we provide our email address in order to get what we want. Companies are smart! How many times have you given away your email address in exchange for a discount on your online shopping? Or to get a freebie that’s offered online?
When you give away your email address to these companies, you’re consenting to them emailing you, and suddenly, your inbox begins to fill up.
Reducing the Clutter
So how do your reduce the unwanted emails in your inbox?
Simply open one of the emails and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the email. Once there, you should see something that mentions the word “unsubscribe” or “opt-out.”
Per the Federal Trade Commission, businesses that are using email marketing must give consumers clear instructions on how to stop unwanted emails. Here is what the Federal Trade Commission says on their website:
Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future… Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you… (Link)
Essentially, this means that any commercial email that you are receiving in your inbox should include a way for you to stop the messages. All you should have to do is follow the instructions given in the email.
But Won’t This Take FOREVER?
Companies cannot make it difficult to get off of their email list.
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission specifically says that “You can’t … make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.” (Link)
Even though the process shouldn’t be difficult, if you were to try and tackle all of your unwanted emails t in one day, you’d likely give up pretty quickly.
I suggest tackling your unwanted email slowly. Each day, take a look at the emails that you received, and decide which ones you’d rather do without. Select those companies and follow through with the opt-out process. Quit once you’re done with the ones for that day. Then tackle the emails you receive the next day.
Before long, you’ll start to notice that the amount of emails that you are receiving is less and less. Keep with it and you’ll soon find that you have a manageable inbox!
How I Decide What To Stay Subscribed To
Here is my criteria for whether a company’s emails deserve a spot in my inbox:
- What benefit do the emails provide me? – Consider what it is that the emails are offering you. Are they providing email coupons, special content or other freebies?
- Do I utilize these benefits? – Sure, it might be wonderful to get coupons in your inbox, but do you ever actually use the coupons? Is there an easy way to get the coupons when you need them through an app or going to their website?
- How often am I getting emails from this company? – If you’re getting a million emails a day from a company, that might far outweigh the benefits that the company is offering.
By using these questions, you can quickly assess whether or not to end your email relationship with a company.
Utilizing the above processes, I was able to get my inbox down to less than 10 promotional emails every morning. Now, I have a high standard for who I give my address to, and an even higher standard for what emails I let hit my inbox. I’m pretty quick to hit “unsubscribe” these days if a company isn’t giving me value in their emails.
Believe me when I say that having your inbox quieter is a great peace of mind. Sure, it’s going to take work to undo years of giving out your email address, but it is so worth it!