You may consider all commercial email to be “Junk,” but it’s important to make the distinction between known and unknown senders, and handle them differently.
Consider the Source – Known vs. Unknown
- Known senders include companies you’ve done business with, or whose mailing list you signed up for (perhaps without realizing it). These companies may sell their mailing lists to others, so it’s worth it to minimize the number of lists you are on. Reputable companies will include an Unsubscribe option.
- Unknown senders, which include spammers (Rolex watches, anyone?), usually include no unsubscribe link, and when they do, you should not click it since it may lead to malware or phishing attempts. Your best bet when it comes to unknown senders is to mark them as junk/spam, but don’t expect miracles – spammers will keep trying!
Tackle Known Senders One at a Time
It’s more effective to Unsubscribe from these than mark them as Junk or Spam. Start with the most recent ones you’ve received. For each one, decide whether you’re ready to Unsubscribe.
- Ready to break up? Click the Unsubscribe link (usually found at the bottom) and follow the instructions carefully on any web page that link takes you to.
- Feeling sentimental? If you decide to stay on a given mailing list, consider setting up a rule or filter that sweeps that sender’s emails into a special folder that you designate. Each email provider has a different technique for this. This is particularly handy for certain retailers’ coupons. Alternatively, you can often adjust your email preferences with a company by reducing the frequency, or fine-tuning the topics you want to be emailed about.
Now, Out With the Old!
Use your email program’s feature for finding all email from a particular sender, and delete at least the oldest ones. Aaaaahhhhh.
Practice Safe Subscription! Be careful when signing up at new websites. There is often a checkbox for “Subscribe me to the ABC Company’s newsletter” or “Send me special offers from ABC Company.” Uncheck it if you aren’t interested.
There’s an App for That!
Services or apps like Mailbox, Sanebox, and Unroll.me offer an automated way of dealing with inbox overload, though one could argue that their solutions are the equivalent of sweeping the emails under the rug. You still have to invest some effort in deciding what you want to see, and how often.
If you’d like help getting started, Your Computer Tutor is just a phone call away at (303) 946-1894.