Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Email Overwhelm, Part 3

This third article in this series focuses on an obvious option, but we often ignore it: Unsubscribe. I know. You want the updates on what your competitors are doing; or the time of that new book release. However, in all honesty, when was the last time you actually opened the email? Once a quarter, you need to take the time to unsubscribe. You could think of it like a spring-cleaning. Assign the task to your virtual assistant or follow the steps below.

To make it easy to unsubscribe, filter all emails with the words ‘unsubscribe’ in them (you know, those footer links) into a special folder every once in a while. Go through all the newsletters and unsubscribe from some. Also, remember that most people who send out newsletters send out the same information through social media and blogs. Wouldn’t you rather read them in your twitter feed or RSS subscription center than cluttering your already crowded inbox?

Most legitimate senders are polite; they respect your choice and unsubscribe you from their mailing lists. They know that by irritating a potential customer they lose possible future sales!

Suppose that the sender does not stop, what are your options?

According to the CAN-SPAM act (2003), marketers can send certain types of unsolicited email. However, the email should have a visible and functional unsubscribe mechanism. Senders must honor opt-out requests within ten days. Unsolicited emails must have a clear from address, relevant subject and the sender’s legitimate physical address. Labels are mandatory for adult content. Use of false headers and harvested email addresses is illegal.

It is not advisable to unsubscribe from spam mail. These people send out mass mails to hacked addresses from legitimate mailing lists or shopping portals (the acronym SPAM indicates non-solicited pornography and marketing). Clicking on the unsubscribe link only confirms that your address is valid. They will then continue sending mails. You also need caution while clicking inside emails from unknown senders—phishing attacks are very common. Check if the link points to the same domain that the mail shows itself to be from. Phishing links will point to different domains.

To filter out spam mails that sneak into your inbox, set up the filter to catch and delete emails with the keywords that repeat most often in the mails – Viagra, performance enhancing and similar terms are examples. You can also block specific senders. This feature is available with most email providers.

If you need some help de-cluttering your inbox, our online business manager services can help.

 photo credit: Charles Williams

Posted on March 4th, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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