A Simple Way to Clean Up Your InBox

I don’t know about you, but I manage 3 different email accounts at work. These accounts have been around for a very long time (+10 years) and over this time they’ve have showed up on many, many email marketing lists. One account was getting 30-50 emails per day from marketers, auto-added newsletters and other sundry sources. Every day I would dutifully open up my email client, then play the delete game. Then one morning last month I had a revelation. I don’t read any of this stuff. Most of these emails are coming from legitimate sources. Many use SafeUnsubscribe or similar services.

UNSUBSCRIBE!

Wow. What a concept. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? A couple of reasons I guess. Habit & Creep. Back in the bad old days clicking on an unsubscribe link often was simply a way for spammers to verify an address so I got in the habit of simply trashing everything. (And I don’t make a habit of clicking on links in emails – we all know that’s a really bad idea right???) Since most of the emails I was getting were from obviously legitimate sources using services like Constant Contact (who provide the SafeUnsub system), I could be assured that I could with a careful click (hovering over the link, verifying that it was pointing to a site I expected, etc) I could rid myself of these emails. Aside from habit, creep is the other reason. A newsletter here, a weekly sales blast there and suddenly you’ve got 50 marketing emails a day.

So there you go. Make a resolution for 2012 to clean up your inbox. It’s dead easy. And my InBox – down to 4 marketing emails today (unSUBBED!) and 6 from friendly suppliers in China – which I guess I’m stuck with.

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